Monday, August 25, 2014

They walk dogs in strollers here

I'd like to round out this week's Thematic theme, shooting strangers from afar (more here), with a couple of photos I took on my recent quick trip to New York. In the 2-ish hours of daylight that I was working with, I wandered from Central Park to Riverside and back. The goal was a simple one: Gather as many pixels as possible before the sun went down to ensure I didn't forget the fact that I was here.

Sure, we all want the luxury of time to drink a place in. But when real life dictates otherwise, you grab what you can in the time you've been given. On second thought, that simple photographic truth also sounds like a metaphor for life. Imagine that.

Photo 1 of the red-shirted man dragging his apparently stubborn beagle made me smile, because that could just as easily be me with my dog. Frasier is, to be charitable, not the most leash-disciplined dog. He wanders from side to side like an inebriated toddler who may or may not have gone off his meds. He has to sniff or otherwise investigate everything, and as a result even the shortest loop around the block always seems to take twice as long as it should. I always leave extra time for our walks, and pulling him in the right direction has become part of the yin and yang that makes him special.

In any case, I had to resist the urge to catch up with this gentleman and say hello. It just didn't seem like the kind of place to randomly smile at a fellow dog person and engage in spontaneous conversation. I contented myself with the cagey shot from the back and went on my way.

A little while later, I came across this lady with the pink-frocked, stroller-carried pup and it made me wonder about the whole act of walking your dog. First the word: Walk. It implies that the dog, you know, actually walks. I don't quite see the point of pushing a dog in a stroller. Maybe I don't understand the whole pet ownership thing, but I thought walks were about getting your dog some exercise and giving him/her and chance to, ah, use the loo.

The funny thing is I saw more strollers in this one walkabout than I've probably seen in my entire life back home. So maybe it's a New York thing. But by now, the light was fading and I was far from my temporary hotel-home. So I stole another quick pic and retreated from the pier before she even knew I was there. My misgivings aside, both pups looked incredibly well cared for, and very well loved. In the end, nothing else matters.

Your turn: Dogs in strollers. Please discuss.

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