“If you can’t decide between a Shepherd, a Setter or a Poodle, get them all … adopt a mutt!” …ASPCA
First I would like to say that my intention here is not to insult any dog. This is actually an expression of gratitude and thanks for all your breed has done to help me, and those that are located in the vicinity around me at certain times when I must call upon your beautiful faces. BARK BARK, Thank You.
I love dogs. At present I have one. His name is Henri and he is a Papillion. I lost my long time best friend Lucy, a beagle, two years ago. Lucy lived 14 years and had a wonderful life. I miss her terribly and still look for her. I loved her to say the least, and liked her more than I like most people.
I used to live in New York City for 10 years, a fine dog town I might add. That’s where Lucy chose me to be her owner. Six years later I adopted Henri. I had him flown in from the midwest, we consider him a New Yorker as well.
Living in NYC for me was fantastic however at times it was hard, exhausting and draining navigating my daily life. Being a New Yorker is not for the meek and timid. One must strap on their Armour before heading out the door into the hustle, push and shove bustle, to get on the subway for your daily commute. Me, I strapped on a baby while I pushed another one in a stroller. If not getting on the train I probably had my dogs with me as well. You get the picture.
If you’ve ever been standing on a crowded subway platform in NYC at 7:45 am, you know it’s survival of the fittest. You don’t always get the next train even though you’re next. I was the woman with the strap on baby and stroller kid yelling loudly “excuse me getting on” and I would plow my way into the crowd of standing tired, cranky New Yorkers, who look like cattle going to slaughter. Oh yes that woman was me, shameless warrior woman.
Living that lifestyle taught me a great deal about people and myself. I loved riding the trains because I’m a people watcher. Not everyone is happy that time of day, except for the drunk guy sleeping in the corner taking up TWO seats. I had my fair share of unpleasant interactions with people as would anyone during this daily grind.
I had to develop coping skills to keep my sanity. Many times I stood there pissed off at the jerk in the suit younger than me hiding behind his wall street journal pretending he doesn’t see my weary need for his seat. God forbid he get up and offer it to a woman with children, he might have to stand. I realized I can’t control people through glaring piercing contempt filled eyes, so I had to change me, because if I didn’t I could either:
A. Become the jerk off
B. Go to jail for pushing some obnoxious person off the landing onto an on
coming train, or
C. Change my attitude
Guess which one I chose? C. Only because of the children, I would have preferred option B.
One morning I created a game. I am very adept at identifying different breeds of dogs. I credit the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which is a two day, all-breed competition that takes place at Madison Square Garden annually. 200 cream of the crop dogs are allowed to compete. It is my Super Bowl, I love it! This year it is on February 13 and 14, so appropriate because as I stated previously, I love dogs more than people so Valentines Day would be the obvious show date.
With my knowledge of dogs and my daily routine of survival, I found if I looked around the crowded train and imagined which breed my fellow passengers would be if they were dogs, I could enjoy my ride amongst the obnoxious, entitled, loud and self-centered sardines I was traveling with. This game also includes the nice people too. Most of them are golden retrievers or labradors, nothing too exotic. Peoples attitudes, behavior and appearances influenced my choice of breed. It is great fun!
When playing this game, my anger would diminish, my frustration would dissipate and my police record, or lack of one would keep the same status, squeaky clean. Here are four examples of dog breeds to help you learn how to play the game.. I will use common breeds for the unfamiliar dog readers.
First up is the Golden Retrievers. Everyone loves them, except the cranky curmudgeons. The golden retrievers are happy-go-lucky, eager to please and all around friendly. You don’t see many of them on your morning commute they walk and just go with the flow pleasantly.
Next up the Poodle. The poodle usually lives on the Upper East Side and is the high-maintenance, designer wearing, over primped male or female human who loves to be admired. They think very highly of themselves. The people poodle are often oblivious to those trying to get on or off the train. I have to push poodle people out of the way, but I admire their self-esteem.
Moving on, the Pit bull Terriors dominate the train in both numbers and attitude. The Pitt bull is the person who will snap at you anytime and can be quite vicious. You never trust a Pit bull. They want to dominate, rule and master getting a seat. I stay as far away from this breed of person as possible.
Finally there is the Mutt, a mixed breed dog whose ancestry is unknown. These people are the general population. Most people are mutts. They are the common folk. I am a mutt. Mutts are taking life one day at a time and staying the course. Some days are good, some bad but if I had to share a seat on the train, I would want it to be next to a mutt.
My advise to anyone who feels like they are becoming angry, annoyed or disgruntle during your day, you are losing your patience at the BMW your stuck behind driving 25mph when they should be doing 60 (they are not deserving of that horsepower), or of your coworker won’t stop clicking their teeth, play the game and make them a dog and if your not familiar with dogs, the animal kingdom works just as well.
Oh and today, I had a run in with a miniature schnauzer, I will leave that interaction for your imaginations. Have fun and don’t forget to play.
IN MEMORY OF MY BELOVED LUCY
My dear old dog, most constant of all friends…William Croswell Doane