What a perfect word for this time we are in! One would think that the word coyote wouldn’t normally bring up something so readily for me, but today there are a couple of reasons that word resonates.
As many of you know, in NYC we don’t get much in the way of wildlife (unless you count the pigeons and rats…ugh), or, if we do get any animals their presence is overwhelmed by horns honking, sirens, people, etc. Well, mother nature is certainly making a big comeback around here. The flowers are beautiful. The grass is green. There are birds…chirping. In Colorado, where I’m from, that is not so strange, but in NYC this is very odd. It’s beautiful. It’s also eerie. Were I in Colorado, or somewhere that is not a hotbed of Covid-19, the sound of birds would be welcoming and beautiful. It is even now, but it’s also a stark reminder of why we are able to hear them now. Nonetheless, they are beautiful.
The second reason that this word rings a bell today is because howling at 8 has become somewhat of a popular event in the US recently. An entire community has been created. People are sharing their stories and the reason they howl. It’s cathartic for many! Side note: on a recent facetime with my family my sister told me about this howl at 8 thing they’ve been doing that my nephew loves and was very surprised when I told her I know one of the people who started it. The facebook group was started by a buddy that I knew/know from college, and it has just exploded. In case you haven’t heard about it abroad, you can join the facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/howlat8/) and howl in your own time zone at 8pm. There are over half a million followers, and it is a wonderful activity in such a difficult time.
So, everyone, if you hear random howls at 8pm, don’t be alarmed. It’s just solidarity in action. I hope you are all well during this time.
Farm, that’s an interesting one. Farm? It’s been a really long time since I’ve been to a farm. The last time I spent much time on one was when I was in third grade. We took a week long trip and lived in yurts while we worked on and learned about living on a farm. It was interesting. We learned about milking the cows, making butter, and many other things, I’m sure. We did a lot of interesting things at my school, a Waldorf school. Waldorf schools generally teach by doing/experiencing, so we saw and did many exciting things throughout the years. In 4th grade we studied all about the history of our state, and therefore we took our class trip to a ranch in the mountains, where we hiked, learned about the mountain men, made items by hand, and stayed in an old style bunkhouse!
All of those things aside, the very first thought that popped into my mind when I read the word farm on the rdp site, was thinking about when my boyfriend and I went trail riding. He had never been before, and I hadn’t been in over a decade, but I loved it. It was magical! I want to do it more and more often. My horse, Smoke, was so sweet and responsive. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The other horses in the corral may have gotten a little jealous because I gave him lots of pets and love. In fact, the horses that hadn’t been on the ride immediately trotted over, happily, when they saw the post ride nose rubs that he got. It was such a special experience! I could truly go on and on and on about the whole experience and how much it meant to me, but I won’t bore you with all of the details. I will say this: the serenity, the green grass, the quiet, the wide open spaces, the beauty of the forest, the space to breathe, to think, and to just be, was incredible. Whenever I get stressed now, I think back about how it felt to have the room to be with these majestic animals out under the beautiful sky, while enjoying the experience with my love made me feel liberated on the inside. I’ll never forget it. It was life changing, and I recommend that everyone should have the chance to experience this.
Surprise! I love surprises! Do you? I’m curious! Just this weekend I received a wonderful gift from a very special love in my life! You see, I’m an artist living in NYC and loving it, but I miss my roots, too! I grew up in the mountains of Colorado, so I’m an outdoors girl, too! It’s so beautiful there…and here, too, in different ways. Well…recently it was my birthday…and he surprised me with the BEST gift of all…a trail ride in the Shenandoah Valley!!!!!!!!! I haven’t been on a horse in over a decade. I’m not even a regular rider, or anything, but I LOVE them. I LOVED IT! IT WAS MAGICAL! HE WON MAJOR POINTS FOR THAT ONE! The horse was amazing, so gentle and responsive to my commands. The guides were incredible (seriously, River’s Bend Ranch, they’re awesome), and the experience was excellent! We took a ride by the river, through the forest, and loved every minute of it! He won major boyfriend points with that one. The sweetest thing: he’s not an outdoorsy guy himself, but he knows how much I love the air, the mountains, the animals, etc., so he planned this whole day trip (zipcar, lunch) and everything and then surprised me with the bday gift! Such a lovely guy, and I feel so blessed to have him. Plus…this isn’t the first time he’s surprised me with something I wanted so badly…he surprised me with Hamilton tickets for our anniversary…so he’s definitely amazing!
I’ve been a dog lover since the age of eight years old, and I certainly have my own thoughts on which kinds of dogs I prefer…in the end I love them all, but I do prefer the larger breeds. Now…if I had it my way I’d have my own sanctuary or something of the kind that would benefit all dogs that are having trouble being adopted or who have been abandoned. Who knows, this may happen in the future. It saddens me to no end to think of any animal being put down unnecessarily and alone in the world. They all deserve to be loved in return, and they are the best at loving. Now, to my next point: how can we give our dogs the best life possible? Here are some of my tips as a dog walker in NYC…have fun reading!
Make sure that your apartment or home (especially if you live in a cramped city like NYC) is a suitable space for a pet. A lot of NYC spaces are very small and truly only suit one being comfortably. Although it may work great for you, that doesn’t mean it will be ideal for your pet. Bigger dogs need room to exercise and romp around during the day when you’re not there. Think about it: your dog will be staying indoors at your home for the entirety of the time you’re working, out with friends, etc. That is probably very monotonous and could lead to depression in dogs. When they’re depressed they often become unruly and develop bad behaviors because they’re not happy, just like humans! So…make sure that you have a big enough space depending on the size of the dog you’re interested in. This leads me to my second point.
Socialization. Although NYC is not a very large dog friendly kind of place, there are ways of providing a great life for your lovebug if you’ve got the funds to do it. All of my family pets have had the opportunities to live in places in the foothills, free to roam on our land, and plenty of open space to play with and explore. Our Rhodesian Ridgeback had a best friend who lived in the same neighborhood! The two of them would play and romp together for hours on end. They were inseparable! Two big doggos wrestled and played all day and came in pooped in the evening several days per week, at least. My mother worked long hours daily, so she would drop our dog off at his friends’ house or vice versa so that he would get exercise and be social. He was such a happy dog because the owners made it a great time for the two puppers! Now, what NYC’ers can do is this: investigate doggy daycare ideas. There are so many of them in the city and they are in very high demand. I recommend finding one that will take the dogs to the park sometimes, and that will supervise them responsibly throughout the whole time. This playtime and interaction can help to mitigate the difficulty of living in the city with a dog, as they will feel loved while you are out making a living and cuddling at home with them in the evening! Another service you can look into is dog walking. Wag and Rover are two of the most popular dog walking services, they’re great, and signing up is very easy. You can even search for dog walkers on the site for Rover and choose one based on their price and profile! I highly recommend this option as well. Just be sure that you meet your dog walker first to make sure that this is the right person for you and your dog! Plus…depending on the walker your dog may get more exercise and love than with another walker, so meet and greets are very important. Although, given a choice between the two, I’d look into doggy daycare at least several days per week first.
Make sure you look into the different breeds before deciding. Some dogs’ typical habits make apartment life more difficult or less than other breeds. Their energy levels can vary as well. Some bark more than others, too. Our Rhodesian hardly ever barked!
On a more personal note, I want to see every doggy and kitty get adopted out there, so the first place that I, personally, would go would be the shelters. No matter the breed, you might just find your best friend there. Many shelter dogs are the biggest lovers I’ve ever walked/met and I’ve walked a good amount of dogs. With the right training and care they can become the best behaved loveys. Yes, I also call them all my loveys. 🙂 It’s almost like they know they’ve been rescued…or is it them that are rescuing us?
As always, please be careful when selecting your pet. There are always possible dangers, so please be careful with pets and kids, etc. Also…have fun!
So some of you may have seen the video that’s currently going around on facebook about the rat on the train. Or not? I was surprised to find out (on my first day in New York) that New Yorkers…who are very tough (or the stereotype of them, at least), are very frightened of…rats??? Apparently a rat snuck its way onto a subway and was running around. Cue all the people on the subway jumping up on their seats, screaming, being terrified, etc. Now, I know that NYC rats are a whole different ballgame than others, probably, and I, for one, am certainly not a huge fan of rodents in general, but…really? For your own pleasure…here is the video! Btw, I just think it’s funny. No meanness or anything intended, just a tad of a laugh.