Mille Grazie!
The Infection Has Set In

City Dogs

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Sunday morning of a three-day weekend. The threat of rain, cold and gray. A perfect morning for cuddling under the covers, bringing warm cups of coffee and plates of cinnammon toast - or bagels - back to bed with the New York Times, and drifting back to sleep while watching Sunday morning.......



Right.




Let me introduce you to the Pomegranate

very reliable

5:18 wake up call:










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So what's a gal and a guy to do at 7:00 a.m.  on Memorial Day Sunday?



We could go to the dog park, but that's so yesterday. How about the beach? Nope, can't bring dogs after Memorial Day.  OK, what about a hike somewhere upstate....nah, gonna rain soon.


Why won't they just go back to bed???




Ya can't fight Mother Nature. So let's just load em up and move em out!



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Why bother to drive upstate just to take the dogs to a park when you have the greatest city in the world twenty minutes from your door?

Millions of people walk their dogs in Central Park each day.

Why not drive in and join the joggers, strollers, and multitudinous dog walkers for a Sunday morning stroll?

We were door-to-door in twenty minutes and found our pick of parking on the street next to the Museum of Natural History. A quick jaunt across Central Park West and we were in the heart of the park, minutes from all the landmarks that are so familiar from movies and TV.



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We were strolling along, making good time in the jogging lane, when we hit our first snag:

Pigeons.



Bella Sera is a young adult retriever. She understands what her instincts tell her to do:

Birds/Pigeons/Squirrels



RETRIEVE!



WATCH MR. POM STRUGGLE TO KEEP HER ON THE LEASH!



WATCH MR. POM NARROWLY ESCAPE BEING PULLED OFF HIS FEET!



Meanwhile, I, of course, am very smug.  Cucciolo does not care so much for the pigeons. He is indifferent to the squirrels.

aaaaaaaaahhhhhh

OMG DON'T LET HIM EAT THAT HALF-CHEWED APPLE/BAGEL/YOGURT/DISGUSTING  THING FILLED WITH BODILY FLUIDS!!!!



WATCH OUT - WOMAN ON A BENCH EATING A COOKIE - HE'S GOING FOR IT!

WATCH MRS. POM SPIN AROUND LIKE A TOP AND CLEVERLY FOIL CUCCIOLO BY WRAPPING THE LEAD AROUND HER BUTT, WHICH SHE KNOWS IS BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD HIM!






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Okay, it took awhile for them to get the hang of city life. All around us were people with dogs off leash who just looked over at their dogs and they heeled. Us, no way, no how were we taking these mutts off the leash, not even on The Great Lawn. Strawberry Fields Forever? More like Dog Gone Forever. Neither Mr. Pom nor I are spry around to sprint across the meadows and climb the boulders in search of two errant dogs, one chasing a crow and the other chasing a bialy.

Once they got the hang of it, though, and we stumbled into Dog Heaven, it was like a scene from Sex and The City, only instead of flirting with the sailors (and by the way, it actually is Fleet Week), it was more like labs flirting with greyhounds and snooty standard poodles.


Central Park is a beautiful place and it is the dog mecca of the city. In the early morning hours, it is filled only with runners, people with small children who won't sleep in, and dog owners. Instead of our woody dog park, we had rolling fields, paths along the lakes, boulders to climb on, statuary to admire, the beautiful mall to walk through, bridges to cross, gazebos to sit in, and all the while, dogs ran up and greeted us like old friends.




Where else but in New York does a dog  have an entire fountain in which to bathe?



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Or  their own private reservoir in which to play Marco Polo.


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Only in the greatest city in the world, do dogs play water polo by shorelines designed in the nineteenth century, under ancient weeping willows.



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New York doesn't skimp on fantastical sites in which dogs - and their owners - can play hide and seek amongst the Euros and the elderly upper West Side inhabitants with their Greek diner cups of coffee and The Daily News.


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We wouldn't let them swim, though they almost pulled me  in as I stood on the steps to let them get their feet wet. The water was slimy with pollen and we had nothing with which to clean them and a long walk back to the car with two wet dogs was not what I had in mind.


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But what fun to let them get a drink from a fountain pool that has been featured in so movie sets.  Such elegant surroundings for a couple of yard dogs.  Mr. Pom was Joe Cool as he stood next to the magnificent urns filled with hydrangeas on the bridge over the reservoir.




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Here I am trying to make sure that they don't push me into the water while Mr. Pom fiddles with the camera.



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Best part of the morning - we found a sidewalk cafe with a parking space, pulled in it, rolled down the windows, and let the dogs take a nap whilst we had cappuccinos and muffins, all the while smug that we had walked the equivalent of about 40 New York blocks and could well afford the calories!


Tomorrow, the plans are to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

I promise I'll remember my camera and not have to post these grainy cell phone pics.

And we'll try to not end up in the East River.






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