For the love of dogs
Truckee, New York City; New York City, Truckee: No matter how you slice them, the two places are about as dissimilar as, well, Truckee and New York City. Except for dogs. Or, more precisely, the love of dogs.After recently spending some time back in the “Center of the Universe,” I was reminded of just how crazed New Yorkers, particularly Manhattanites, are for their pooches. And I’m not just talking city-dwelling, ankle-biters clad in sweaters and bows. After seeing scruffy Lower East Side mutts and poofy Fifth Avenue dandies, two of New York City’s estimated 530,000 doggy denizens provided perfect – albeit mismatched – bookends to the city’s dog culture: A Chihuahua and Great Dane striding (well, at least one of ’em anyway) on leashes through Central Park with their owner.The trio probably left their apartment via an elevator and walked along a busy sidewalk to get to the park, and ultimately, a fenced-in dog run. Along the way, their mistress probably strolled into a cafe and picked up a cup of coffee, bagel and newspaper. They didn’t need to get into a vehicle in order to take a walk, they just needed to avoid them as they went.That got me to thinking about Truckee, a place equally as loopy about dogs but in different ways that showcase the two “towns'” divergent lifestyles.Unless one lives in downtown Truckee, a trip to grab coffee, a bagel and the paper is just that – a trip. It would entail getting Rover into the car or SUV and driving any number of miles to get the coffee on the way to, say, Martis Creek.There, Rover and any number of Truckee’s approximately 3,000 other – ahem, licensed – dogs romp in a natural dog/people park sans leashes, fences and a whole bunch of rules. After reading a deluge of letters last summer about Truckee dogs, leashes (or lack thereof) and their owners, that’s just the way most folks seem to like it.And even though we all know “dogs love trucks,” (or Subarus for that matter), it’s a shame that many of us are driving around town to take the darn mutt for a walk.When asked on the Sierra Sun’s Web poll at sierrasun.com about what is missing in Truckee, 25 folks said a “dog park.” Now to me that’s about as incongruous as my big black dog slobbering on the side of my pick-up as a I drive down Madison Avenue. I guess I just don’t see a dog park in town getting a whole lot of action considering the other areas people can drive their dogs to get in a little exercise. All that said, a perfect place for a dog park could be in the proposed Railyard development downtown. That’s set to have a mixture of housing, retail, restaurants and such, all accessible by foot for the folks who’ll live down there . It won’t be New York City, and that’s just fine. But as soon as my dog and I see a yappy, blow-dried pedigree sporting an argyle sweater, we’re gonna head to New York City in the dented pick-up sporting dirty old bandanas and drool all over the Upper East Side.Jamie Bate is the editor of the Sierra Sun. Reach him at email@example.com.
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