Have you ever known anyone in a rocky relationship who got a dog to try and fix it? Well, those frustrated souls are really on to something. It's true, a dog can fix a relationship.
Life in New York has presented some obstacles. Finding steady work, making ends meet, dealing with the massive crowds, being without a car and away from family are only a few of the countless challenges of living in the big city.
When I was ready to hang up on New York completely, I had a change of heart when a dog entered the picture. Actually, it was more like a pack. I became a dog walker.
You may think the last thing a disenchanted New Yorker in February needs is a job walking the streets and picking up poop all day. Yep, that's exactly what I needed.
I am a tunnel-visioned speed walker who marches from point A to point B with little patience. Put a leash in my hand and I'm a different woman. I lengthen my gait. I really open my eyes and look around. I notice relaxing park benches I never knew were there. I walk by literary cafes to add to my "must go to" list. I notice the ornamental hardware on buildings. I get out of the tunnel.
I owe it all to Marley. (Yes, dogwalkers, like teachers, do have favorites.) He is a handsome boxer with an unparalleled joie de vivre and enthusiasm for New York that instantly rubbed off on me and changed my outlook.
Boxers are easy to misjudge. Their good looks and over-the-top perkiness reminds me of a high school cheerleader and makes them come off as dumb. Don't be fooled, these dogs are just trying to contain a heart and soul that's too big for its body.
The uncontrollable licking, I'm convinced, must be the result of a tongue too big for its mouth. Or a sensitive palate.
Next time you go through an existential crisis and want to flee, take a deep breath and unpack your bags. Maybe you just need more dogs in your life.