Thursday, November 02, 2006

No better place for them ...

Now, I love New York City. And I happen to think it's one of the best places in the world for dogs (of a certain kind). Few places have the number of services, products and activities continuously available to its canine denizens. I've long believed that New Yorkers expend so much cash and energy on our dogs because we feel somewhat guilty to subject them to life in the megalopolis day after day, and we feel the need to compensate them for making the stresses and uncertainty of the City that much more bearable. And so in our neighborhood, we have scores of pet stores, daycare centers, grooming salons and health and wellness providers. We even have two dog parks (one for large dogs, other other for small ones). In New York, velvet ropes are not exclusive to humans.

And yet, as much activity as our dog, pictured here, sees in the City, it falls short of the pleasure she experiences at Penwood. In the Adirondacks, Audrey expresses an entirely different side of herself. It's as if her inner wolf comes out. Quite simply, she gets Penwood in ways that I never will. She can navigate the forest easily in the darkest of moonless nights. She can sense creatures that I scarcely notice. Even the quality of her bark changes. When we get ready to go up to the house, she can hardly contain her excitement and drags us all the way to the garage a few blocks away, only to fall fast asleep once she reaches the back seat. She's not stupid - why stay up for a long, boring drive, when you can rest up and gather all your energy for your arrival at the destination? And she expends that energy. She roams the forest, digs, runs endlessly and stalks a whole host of creatures that frequent the forest. And so, our dainty, rather well-mannered city dog who prefers playing with Shih-Tzu's (but not poodles), eats organic treats and keeps a monthly appointment at the doggie salon transforms into something else. I guess that, in the Adirondacks, she just becomes more of herself.

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