Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Playdate for Harper

On Friday Harper and I hopped in a taxi and drove WAY uptown. She had a doggie play date with a Wheaten Terrier 5 month old puppy, belonging to an old high school friend of mine. He lives off of 215th street. I didn't even know there WAS a 215th Street in Manhattan! As we have made these occasional trips into the city from New Hampshire, I would see the sign for the Cross Bronx Expressway after the George Washington Bridge, and think that was the end of Manhattan and the beginning of the Bronx, but it's not. 215th Street is the very northern tip of Manhattan, but it is still city, with lots of apartment buildings, traffic and shops. There is even a subway stop right by his apartment.

I feel kind of silly now, but it did feel like we were driving out of the city and into the country. Once again, New York reminded me of Hong Kong, with the city center that everyone knows about and where all the tourists go, and then the outlying areas that are more quiet and peaceful, but still part of the city.

The taxi dropped us off right by Bob's house and we started walking toward a very nice nearby park. Bob's puppy is SO cute, just a big (40 pounds already) bumbling, rolly-Polly ball of energy. He bounded along excitedly; Harper seemed quite dignified in comparison. We took the dogs to a nearby dog park and let them go.

Their playing styles could not be more different. Teddy bounded around, chasing and wrestling with other young dogs, rolling all over the place with abandon. Harper greeted other dogs curiously, and a bit cautiously. She loves to run, and depending on the other dogs, this can be great, or it can be a little scary. In some bigger dogs she seems to invoke a prey instinct. I don't like it when big dogs chase her, although she is too fast and clever for most of them to catch her, and if an aggressive dog starts getting too close she zips over to where I'm standing or ducks behind a bench or a rock, making her getaway.

The best situation is if there or other terriers for her to play with. Teddy was too young; he just annoyed her and she ignored him for the most part. But soon a Jack Russell entered the dog park and they had a wonderful time chasing each other and running as fast as they could all over the park.

Eventually there were so many dogs at this particular park that some of them were getting into fights so we decided that it was time to leave. It was time for Harper and I to make our way back downtown anyway.

There aren't very many Yellow Cabs available that far uptown, so Bob showed me how to hail a livery cab. They are basically town cars that cruise the areas of the city where the yellow cabs don't go. They don't have meters so you have to negotiate your fare. I knew how much it had cost me to get there, so that wasn't really a problem. But the first livery cab I entered wanted too much money and my haggler's instinct from Hong Kong kicked in. I told him I wouldn't pay that much and got out of the cab.

At first I started walking a bit. I'm not sure what I was thinking. I couldn't take a bus or the subway with Harper, I had to take a cab. And it was WAY too far to walk! I was sort of looking for a yellow cab. There were a few, but none of them were going the right direction and they didn't seem interested in picking up a woman and her little white dog.

Finally I tried hailing another livery cab. The second car was much more accommodating. His English was fairly limited and he didn't know how to get down to the Village, but his price was right and he didn't mind me giving him directions. As we left the cab he said "God bless you lady" so I told him God bless you too!

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