Nina In New York: This Place Has Gone To The Dogs
A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
By Nina Pajak
A Long Island town has passed legislation limiting its citizens to owning no more than seven dogs. If you must have more than that, you can apply for a special $100 “multidog permit” and prove that you can adequately care for the animals.
To me, this sounds abundantly reasonable.
I mean, sure, it does seem a little strange for local government to be spending time curbing pet adoption. But do you know what’s even stranger? Having more than seven dogs. Unless you make your living off of owning lots of dogs—for instance, if you are a dog breeder or the ringmaster of a traveling dog circus—I think three dogs is the threshold before you enter mental patient territory. Perhaps you are a hoarder. Perhaps you are incapable of socializing successfully with other humans, but don’t like the stigma of “crazy cat lady” or you just don’t like cats. Whatever the reason, having too many dogs definitely means a couple of things:
1. Your house stinks. And
2. You should probably be talking to a therapist regularly.
It also possibly means that your dogs are running around your stinky house like mad kings. And this is not good. Like children, dogs need limits to thrive. They are animals, after all. Dogs, that is.
There is a contingency of wackadoos in my neighborhood who own four, five, sometimes even six dogs. You can tell them apart from others because they tote their animals around in baby carriages and find absolutely nothing humorous about this situation. I once saw a man standing on Broadway with no fewer than four long-haired dachshunds in a pram, a couple more on leashes, and one tucked under his arm. They were all going berserk and a few people around him started to laugh, not cruelly, but under the dangerous assumption that everyone was in on the joke. He scowled menacingly at the offending passersby and continued to attempt to calm his high-strung brood. It went from a funny scene to something much, much darker.
I mean, when you’ve got people who dye their teacup poodles pink, make their dogs wear tutus and nail polish, and who are known around town for dressing up their pet exactly like the comedian Gallagher, it helps to put the situation in perspective. Yeah, that’s right. Gallagher. Look at that picture and tell me you wouldn’t rather that person didn’t octuple his or her number of dogs. Just think of the watermelon shortage alone.
Now the only way in which I object to the new rule is that there is a double standard at play here. If dog crazies are to be cut off at seven, what of the cat people? Fair’s fair. There’s got to be a Gallagher cat out there somewhere, too.
Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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