Sunday, 9 December 2012

Unhealthy attraction

Although both London and New York are cosmopolitan cities there are many cultural differences that set them apart. One that particularly stands out is the New Yorker's relationship to pets. Now even though it's claimed that NY is the most pet friendly city in the world, I now know it was simply a journalist who self proclaimed their city as the most friendly through a misguided opinion of living in the best city in the world. I have news for you, it's horrible and THE worst place you could have a dog. For starters NY has practically no green spaces (or rather Manhattan doesn't and this is yet another problem, dictating where one can live) and dogs are never allowed off lead! All it does have are gimmicks, lots of places to pamper your pet, presumably so you don't have to feel guilty.

What this leads to is a very weird fascination with dogs. People will gather around the fence of the dog parks and simply watch dogs at play. They also take photographs, lots of photographs of individual dogs as though they were documenting an unmissable tourist sight. I've seen couples enter the dog park together and sit watching the dogs. I've seen kids enter the park and follow dogs around seeing which one they like best. I've recently struck up several conversations with an old Jewish man who was knowledgeable about different breeds and was always in the dog park at the same time as me. He was always petting the dogs and took a particular shine to Paco. Yesterday after yet another pleasant conversation he left, sans dog. That's not normal right?

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