CT298I have lived in New York for almost 25 years (yikes – and so much for Ageless) – which is pretty much my entire adult life. But these last two weeks, I have seen a whole new city.

I got a dog. And it’s a whole new city out there.

People in my neighborhood are suddenly stopping me and speaking to me. They recognized the new dog on the block. They’re actually….friendly.

Now, I happen to think that New Yorkers get a bum rap when it comes to friendliness — we are perfectly friendly and very nice overall. But this dog-friendly thing – well, it’s just taken it to a whole new level. People aren’t stopping to ask directions, or to make a comment about one small thing.  They’re taking their time, starting conversations…it’s like I’ve moved to the Midwest!

I’m also seeing more of the city. I’m walking Bentley (he’s a rescue, from PetFinders) pretty much every three hours until he’s totally housebroken. And I’m finding that there are plenty of side streets — even in 16 years of living on the Upper West Side – that I’ve never seen.

I’m learning the etiquette of the dog park. Rough play is fine. But let the other owners know you’re paying attention. Balls can be shared — but only to a point. Conversations among humans should be limited to dog topics.

If you’re planning on visiting New York with your dog, you might be surprised to find out how easy it is.

First, here’s a list of dog friendly hotels, including the fancy Parker Meridien, and the hip W Hotel.

And what will you do with your dog when you get here? How about walking across the Brooklyn Bridge?  Exploring all 843 acres of Central Park? Stroll around Chinatown and Little Italy, where there are plenty of outdoor restaurants where dogs are welcome.  There’s even a Dog Friendly Walking Tour of the city, and several  Pet Chauffeur services to take you  and Rufus around.

You can’t take your dog to any museums, or to see the Statue of Liberty, but if you do bring your dog to the city to visit, you’ll be surprised by what a different view of the city you get.  You might not get to see Monet’s Waterlillies (although there are dog-sitting services you can call), but you will get to stroll along the Hudson River, with your four legged friend – and some new ones too – by your side.