Service of Dogs Who Make a City Smile

March 7th, 2024

Categories: City Living, Dogs, Happiness, Pets, Walking

My neighbors.

Sunday is the best day for dog-watching in Manhattan, especially on a springlike sunny one because there are pets on almost every street.

A block from my apartment a Saint Bernard was ambling sadly towards his apartment when his human turned away from the front door after punching in his building code. The pooch’s tail wagged and his gait quickened—he practically skipped with joy. I mentioned this to the young man walking him who beamed. Something tells me the pup got a bonus extra few blocks that morning.

The darling couple in the top photo live in my apartment building. Their puppy is a sweetheart and they are just as lovely. They enjoyed my appreciation of their furry bundle of cuteness.

When I admire a dog sometimes the walker doesn’t respond. I don’t stick around to see if it’s because they didn’t hear me over whatever might be blaring in their ears through earbuds, but I become discouraged about saying something to others for a while.

Do you speak to strangers about their dogs? Don’t dogs make a city a happy place?


13 Responses to “Service of Dogs Who Make a City Smile”

  1. David Reich Said:

    People seem to act nicer when there’s a dog around.

    Many years ago, when we got our first dog Muffin — a big black lab — people in the elevator who had ignored me before would then interact with Muffin and, sometimes, with me too. I remember there was one young woman in the building — stunning — who never glanced my way, much less said hi after I’d say hello or good morning. She became my “best buddy” once she started seeing me walking a dog.

    If only people could be as nice as dogs, this world would be such a better place.

  2. Nancie Steinberg Said:

    Nancie on Facebook: All the time Jeanne Byington and I ask if I can take pictures too. And when I engage with dogs I feel my dopamine level go up.

  3. BC Said:

    Dogs welcome, but their poop is not!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I wonder if the next leap of faith about the kindness of dogs holds water, namely that people who own or love dogs also tend to be kind. I can think of one dog lover who was nasty to people….but then there are always exceptions. In fact, my dog Cassie cottoned to this person which surprised–and I admit annoyed–me.

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I speak to the dogs more than the humans walking them. I usually admire a raincoat or parka –much nicer than mine most times–or the dog’s coloring or wonderful spots or happy demeanor or cuteness.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    New Yorkers are pretty good about cleaning up after their pooches. It’s no longer the issue it once was.

  7. EAM Said:

    I often stop owners and ask if I can pet their dog and ask their dog’s name. This often makes my day.
    Have you seen The Dogist who follows dogs around town?

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Me too! Puts a smile on my face.

    I’ll check out Dogist. Thanks for the lead.

  9. Lucrezia Said:

    Dogs are wonderful creatures for the most part, and often a reflection of their owners. Now i can’t resist a question about that ‘furry bundle of cuteness.” While being so admired, should he have to poop on location, will the result reach heads of train riders below? Hopefully I’m mistaken, but after staring at the shot several times, I’m certain that’s a subway grating we’re looking at!

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I never stopped to figure out what’s under the grates! But furry cuteness whose name I learned to be Archie, was there only for the few seconds it took me to snap his photo. I know people don’t wait underneath for anything there and I don’t feel the grumble of subways. Maybe it leads to electric or plumbing equipment.

  11. Lucille Grippo Said:

    Love this post. On a beautiful sunny day I go walk the loop at Lakeside Park in Pawling and greet dogs and their owners. Most pups relish the attention of a stranger.

  12. KC Said:

    Gerard is thinking about getting another dog.

  13. Martha Takayama Said:

    I always enjoy talking to dogs, their owners or walkers if receptive. I find it enjoyable although it makes me miss my step-dog, Mimi!!

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