As I was taking one of our longer walks, I thought about what you need to live in a city and have a dog.
- Have an apartment that has an elevator that you CAN take the dog in. There are strict rules about dogs in this particular building so I have had to learn the proper way to hold a dog that is about 45 lbs. in the elevator, down 25 stories, and out onto the street. I figured out I go in the elevator at least 4 times a day, more if I am going out to grab groceries or dinner.
- Must have a park nearby the apartment. I am lucky to have a small park right behind the apartment building that is great for the nighttime quick potty trips. It is enough to go around the block, give the pups some relief, and then haul ass back inside, up the 25 flights of stairs, and happily fall into bed.
- Have a varied terrain. I will say this of Portland: all the fun places to go! I have tried to vary my routes each day. For the breakfast and dinner walks, I head in one general direction and see how far I want to go. I have so far regretted not bringing my camera for each long walk because of the amazing sights I have seen. I somehow found myself down by the Cirque Soleil tent in the South Waterfront area and it was just a beautiful view of the river and the freeways. This morning I was smart enough to bring my camera as I made it across the Hawthorne Bridge and back down over the Morrison Bridge.
- Don't be afraid. Generally, the homeless and especially fiesty "street people" of Portland leave me alone because I have a dog. I end up wandering into some interesting areas where, if I were alone, I would have been nervous but even with the cutest dog, people seem to just do their own thing.
- A calm and upbeat attitude. You wouldn't think this would be a requirement, huh? Well the calm and upbeat attitude comes into play when you are encountering other people. I had a lady straight up just stare and me and the pups today and it made me uncomfortable but I just awkwardly smiled and went to order Thai food. Most people either give me the "awwww" smile or give the "awwww" smile to pupster. It is almost the same looks when I was a nanny and had the kiddos rolling around in the stroller. The reminder that animals and children are ultimately sweet and gentle gives us all a bit of a softer edge.
I proclaimed to myself today, very "toot my own horn" manner, that I am a good temporary puppy mom. I give love, I wipe various oozes, and try my best to get our walk on as much as possible.