Friday 1 June 2012
Midmorning. I’m right under the Brooklyn bridge, bent double and staring at a steaming, gloopy pile of dog shit in the dust – and it’s neither made of plastic, nor from Chinatown – when a seething pack of dogs, incl a pit bull, a Great Dane and a truly enormous Irish wolfhound, bowl into me at high speed. Unpleasant and scary as this is, it’s only Part One of the operation. I scoop and bag the dripping poop and lurch over to the bins nearby.
All of this is happening because I got Lucky yesterday – just for the weekend. Now of course Lucky is a dog. A truly lucky dog. (Not to be confused with Luckydog, the bar of the same name on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, which will be duly explored in subsequent posts.) He’s a beautiful, sweet natured, 8 month old Tree Walking Coon Hound* and was rescued from life as a hunting dog in the South by my friend, host and generous housemate, Na. I’m just looking after him while she’s away.
We’re playing in what a denizen dogowner (medium sized dingo cross) reliably informs me is ‘Hillside’; the best, no-leash dog park in all of Brooklyn. Slogan: “Your dog will love you for it.” Well it is pretty lush, and I guess it would be. As its website boasts, ‘located in Brooklyn Heights, bordering DUMBO, two blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge, bounded by Middagh St, Vine Street and Columbia Heights’, if Hillside were an apartment in this ludicrously overblown RE location – a monster 87,000 square foot apartment, that is – it would be worth well over $5M in local currency. Location, location, location, even for dogs. But then, Brooklyn Heights has always belonged to what my historian friend and born-and-bred New Yorker friend John calls the ‘robber barons’ and captains of industry.** It just took a break for a while.
Now, according to the new but no-less-entrenched-for-it tradition of single-woman memoirs about Getting a Dog in NYC (see the proliferation of bestsellers like Jill Abramson’s The Puppy Diaries, Julie Klam’s You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness and even Part Wild: One Woman’s Journey With a Creature Caught Between the Worlds of Wolves and Dogs) – getting Lucky should change my life and teach me some profound lessons.
Right now, he’s peeing on the floor and his vomity blanket is maturing in a bag, awaiting laundering. It occurs to me that this situation has many of the disadvantages of parenting and only some of the benefits. I go to bed and try to go to sleep. Lucky joins me. True to his breed, he’s a stubborn SOB and no amount of cajoling and pretend tough-talking – even in my special Cousin Jesse voice – will git him on dayown. Lucky talks in his sleep and pokes me in the chest with his restless legs all night long. It occurs to me that this scene has many of the disadvantages of marriage and none of the benefits.***
**Try saying that without a Southern accent.
**And perhaps not so much to semi-retired grunge musicians like Rupert Humphey and his cute family as authentically depicted in Gossip Girl . (But then, the unreality of fictional job depictions vis-à-vis fictional apartment depictions in New York-set TV and movie dramas is well established and has been much discussed by better minds than mine.)
***There’s no way to fix that sentence without sounding criminally disgusting, or like Kathy Lette. Stet.