Owning a dog in NYC (a different type of homeschooling)

Since adopting Napoleon, I have discovered a totally new world unbeknownst to me previously. It is the world of the New York mutt.

Sure, I, like everyone else, notices the dogwalkers with 1-2-3-4-5-6-...? dogs in tow at any given time between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. in Manhattan. One day, when I had an inkling that we really could use a dog around the house, particularly that week when the fire-escape rapist was on the loose, I got serious and asked: How long do your dogs get walked? "One hour." It was the standard reply. Different walker, same answer. Damn, that's a lot of walking, I thought.

Then there is the New York City dog walking schedule. Everyone with a dog here has it. Most dogs get out at least 3 times a day (ours gets out 4 times a day), unless you are a bad owner and buy the expensive natural grass turf that goes on the balcony that gets changed once a week. From Riverside Drive to Astoria, everyone is out with the dogs at midnight. Pee-pee at nighttime in bed is a no-no.

Then dog training. Fortunately, I found Victoria Wells. And in case you, like we, did not know, it's all about the Kong. Don't blink! Here comes another new dog product that everybody's got.

I did have to find a dog walker in my neighborhood for the occasional emergency walk. Particularly as Napoleon is a Weim, and never tires. Four hours of walking a day? Gimme some more! We don't use a walker regularly, though. That is where A gets to learn things like "becoming the alpha male" and walking and training M. Bonaparte.

A has taught Napoleon how to shake, give a high-five, to roll over, to spin, and now he is teaching the pup to crawl. When I worry that the dog is over-worked or too tired, A and Napoleon will rush in with the "new thing" they've learned. Together.

A is homeschooling 'ol Bonaparte.

*image is of Disel the boxer by Dee Dee Ramone, a dog that I know and love, who encourages me to break into the treat box for him, and gets out of the loft several times a day to pee.

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