the dog and pony show


Growing up with seven siblings we never had need for a dog (there was always a younger sibling following you around), but the gentleman is definitely a dog man. Because he's Caucasian and upper middle-class, of course he has allergies (including dogs), but his parents found a way around that and fulfilled the puppy dreams of their sons. They grew up with the soft-coated (and apparently hypo-allergenic) Wheaton Terrier. The gentleman's parental units got another little puppy about a year ago and I've slowly been introduced to what life would be like with a dog.

Now that the downtown Farmer's Market is open again on 104th Street, we've started taking Finnigan our for a stroll on Saturdays. The market is a bit of a dog and pony show. If you don't bring a dog with you or pick up a treat for your dog at home (or imaginary pet) you are essentially shunned and you can never come back. At least that's what it feels like sometimes. Oh the dogs that come out on display. Some are tiny and fit into purses, others are these enormous majestic beasts that would rival Falkor (of Never-Ending Story fame) in size or the bullheaded mastiff from Sherlock Holme's Adventure of the Copper Beaches. Finnigan is best compared to Dug from UP! (and yes, I see myself as the small scout).

Finnigan, or as we like to cal him on market day, Miss Marple. It's his bar name.
My knowledge of puppy development is non-existent, but Finnigan seems to be going through a toddler phase. A toddler who is super excited to be around other kids. You know the type, that overly friendly type who doesn't really know when the other kids don't want to play with him. But he's never going to learn if he doesn't play with the other kids, which is how the urban dog share was born. Hurrah for part-time pet ownership. You get all the perks and don't have to deal with the late night pee-breaks.

Finnigan was overly delighted to see Max, beloved puppy of famed politco blogger Daveberta and his lovely ladyfriend Kyla

After meeting up with Dave and little Max, the five of us walked to the market as fast as Max's little legs could carry him. There wasn't much time for photos once we got there, as I took control of the leash while the gentleman busied him collecting our market items. Again, as a novice dogsitter I sort of felt like the mother of the bad kid who was constantly having to reign in her overly rambunctious child. I wanted to tell people, "Really, I swear he's not like this at home."

Luckily all pseudo love-attacks on other dogs were forgiven because everybody loves a puppy. The gentleman especially, who made sure to show Max a little love as well.

He's probably instructing Max to turn against his owners.
 A fine selection of mustard.
Between the adoration of hipsters (who liked Finnigan's beard) and small children (who liked his soft coat) and conversations with other dog owners about the breeding and one raggedy looking fellow about his two hunting dogs, we discovered that my favourite Grainy Garlic was available and picked up a jar to use in a potato salad the next day.

I'm a dog with low self-esteem. Spring Break!
We met another Wheaton who did not take all that kindly to Finnigan's overt friendliness. Rather, we met a Wheaton that lacked Finnigan's confidence (right, that's how yuppie pet owner's are supposed to talk about their animals right? Like overly proud parents?)

We ran into Lisa and Tom's roommate Marco (actually I was admiring his shoes first and then realized who the shoes belong to) and chatted for a bit before we headed home.

On our way out we spotted another massive standard poodle who schooled Finnigan in model dog behaviour.

Back at the apartment, the tired dog took a nap before we returned him to his rightful owners. Urban dog share success.