My family has had dogs since I was five years old, and some of those dogs have gotten more attention and better care than others. Spur, of course, has gotten the very best care this branch of the Early family has ever given a dog. She was mostly an inside dog before we moved, and I was long accustomed to taking her on daily walks. But taking care of a dog out in the country, or in town with a reasonable backyard, is a different thing altogether than taking care of a dog in an apartment in a city.
I didn’t know how Spur would react to moving. I thought she might have a hard time being away from my mom’s dog, and away from my parents, and confined to a pretty small and entirely indoor space. Her world shrunk from 20 acres to 825 square feet. But she has adapted remarkably well. She doesn’t bark very often, although she does insist on growling at the door when she hears people on the stairs. She is her normal, happy self, always ready to play, usually content to snuggle up with me while I’m watching t.v. or reading.
Anyway, these are a few of the things I’ve learned about keeping a dog in the city:
- Dogs are humanizing. Having a dog makes me feel more human, and often when Spur and I pass people on the sidewalk, they look at her and smile.
- Getting out in the weather is not optional. If it’s really nice out, you take the dog for a walk. If it’s rainy out, you take the dog for a walk. If it’s cold out, you take the dog for a walk. If you’re not feeling well, you take the dog for a walk.
- Everyday comes with obligatory play time. Sometimes it’s inconvenient, but it’s always a good for me.
- You develop an unfortunate familiarity with your dog’s elimination habits.
- You buy things that disgust you, like poop bags and dog potties (I keep one on my patio. It’s nice to have from time to time).
- You feel better about life every time you walk in the door, and less isolated.
The most important thing that I’ve learned is that dogs in the city are a huge commitment, but it’s totally worth it.