Winston Churchill once said that he liked pigs. He mused that while dogs look up to us and cats look down on us, pigs treat us as equals. But I say give me a dog any day.
I used to be pretty non-plussed about these furry things, until they became my day job - and some of my best friends in one of the biggest, busiest cities in the world. I had always romanticised about New York City’s dog walkers, and then I became one. And realised it’s one of the loveliest gigs going around.
Dogs are incredible. They’re smart creatures. One of my favourites, Bugsy (bless her German Shepherd crossed with Beagle cotton socks), looked out for me more than I realised. I don’t think the dirty flasher who came to the park every day around the same time as my afternoon walk would have had a chance. Bugsy, always the lady, still knew how to bark off anything that she sensed was nasty.
And then there was Marley, the cattle dog from the pound. The poor thing had a bit of a bone to pick with anyone with dark skin or on a skateboard, but still had the instinct to sit there and lick my face when tears fell. And what can I say about Digby the wunder-French Bulldog, other than not only was he the coolest, smoothest lady-killer on the street, but he introduced me to some of the friendliest people in the city. You will always meet a stack of new friends whenever you have a dog with you on the sidewalk (unless you’re walking Liesel whose favourite place to have diarrhea was smack bang in the middle of Harlem’s sidewalks).
Sometimes the dogs come second place at the dog park, well almost. There I met daily with photographers, Juilliard dancers, writers, film makers and even Jewish college professors who made marriage proposals as our dogs played together. We all bonded over our furry friends like mothers at a playground. And would watch with a little secret pride feeling that ours was certainly the most adorable there.
The likes of Winston Churchill can have their pigs; give me the unconditional love of a dog any day.
I want a freakn dog.