Nervous Little Dogs

At work, we share a floor with a company called New York Dog. I love wild animals and human babies, but not New York Dog. That subculture–from pampered, wheezy pugs to matching, brainless Dalmatians–is as neurotic as their humans, with no wit to make up for it. (The exception is the pack of wild dogs who roamed Red Hook, whose descendants are as fierce, yellow, and sharp as coyotes. They scare me, but they’re worthy of their wolf genes.)

New York Dog, the company, makes outfits for hors d’oeuvres dogs. Mainly booties, sweaters, coats, and bags–accessories for accessories. The dogs ride in the bags, carried by the same slaves who scoop their poop and paint their toenails. The little pointy-faced blonde ones make me think of Sarah Jessica Parker being toted by Mr. Big in a giant Fendi baguette.

In a city with no sheep, the five or six working dogs across the hall earn treats by modelling. Several times a day they set up a frenzy of yips, barking their walnut-sized hearts out at the mailman or the UPS guy. They yap each other on in a passion of excitement, panic, or outrage. I wonder how it is possible to love a creature who makes such sounds–especially one who, unlike a colicky baby, will not grow out of it. Once, out of badness, I barked outside their door just to set them off, and to hear the staff squawk “STAWP IT!”

We’ve seen the dogs when they escape from their office and burst into ours, barking hysterically. As born-and-bred New Yorkers, they have no idea what to do with freedom. They scuttle back and forth like rats in the subway until their caregivers scoop them up.

My co-workers are all male and mostly geeks, and they blink mildly, feeling no need to throw an insincere “How cute” at these blurred morsels. I say it, even though I think small, bald dogs are as cute as warts. While the doggies are dragged, toenails skidding, back to the world of oestrogen and expensive raincoats, I look at the engineers and realise I’m in the right business.

6 thoughts on “Nervous Little Dogs”

  1. These results of foolish breeding by foppish minds must cause no end of embarassment to real dogs. Two of my favorite dogs were encountered at the Beach Leap B & B in Lough Nafooey. Seen at the address below.

    The tiny speck in the left corner of the photo was the home of two working sheep dogs, Mr. Brown and “The Boxer”. These real canines were ever so attentive and obeyed all your commands. Mr. Brown would run about 20 yards out and stop at the command of “Go Way Out” even though it was said with a yank accent. Perhaps you can do the phonetic spelling of what it should sound like for an accent from the Connemarra. Repeated commands of “Go Wy Out” sent Mr. Brown all the way to the Lough and actually into it. And “The Boxer” had such a nice way about him. It was surmised that a cow had stepped on his face as a pup and he had a flattened nose just like a prize fighter. But he had a proud walk to him and that look with a cocked ear that a Border Collie can melt your heart with.


  2. Makes me think affectionately of that pair of red-tailed hawks who nest every summer on a high lintel at 927 Fifth Avenue, overlooking Central Park. Occasionally you hear rumors of a Pekingese or Chihuahua being swept skyward from the Sheep Meadow, with some Upper East Side matron’s loss being a hungry nestling’s gain.

    Given long enough, this is gonna work wonders on the Manhattan lapdog genepool. Think Darwin vs. the New York Kennel Club.


  3. I share your general disgust and enjoy the comments from the lover of “real dogs”. My boyfriend has a left over lasa apso from his late wife who collected the breed (as if a living being should be collected)

    I cannot for the life of me love this yipping yapping canine with no purpose. He was never taught to obey any commands, was fed via spoon by his “mommy” from the very dish she ate from.

    I tell my love, the dog craves discipline not unlike a baby human, alas…Bobby the lap dog is the ripe old age of nine and as they say, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”

    It offends and seems somewhat disrespectful to raise an animal, not nurturing its strengths and giving it the guidance that would have surely been taught by its ancestors.

    Much more disgusting is the entire premise of New York Dog…

    So Bobby bounds into my home, my cats are threatened(although I am positive, if I let her, Tiger could kick his ass! He begs and barks at the table and continues to lick himself in all the best places non-stop as I wait for him to die.


  4. Two words about dogs like that:

    “Snake food.”

    My beloved childhood buddy was a mutt dog named Bess. She must have had some type of sheepdog strain in her, because, when she moved in with us at a tender 6 months old or so, she began to herd up the cattle wandering in the fields behind our back yard for fun. All you could see were her little black ears sticking up over the long grass and the cows wadded up in a tight ball.


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