Despite the fact that most New Yorkers have cramped living quarters, little in the way of outdoor space, and around-the-clock work schedules, many of us still have pets—and don't know what we'd do without them. In our column NYC Pet Tales, we speak to pet owners about how they make life in New York work with their animal companions.
Lani Mayman is a healthcare professional, writer, Brick Underground contributor, and mother of two. She bought her shichon—a shitzu and bichon mix—in part because she loved growing up with a bichon. At 13 months old, Brady Hercules Mulligan Mayman has become part of Mayman's family, but a somewhat high maintenance one.
"Being the mother of a dog is very different than being the sister of a dog," Mayman says. "Growing up I enjoyed all the cuddling and playing and none of the vet visits, medication administrations, and bills."
Nevertheless, the timing felt right for Mayman, and Brady made the move a little less than a year ago from his Iowa breeder to the Upper East Side.
"When I put my younger daughter on the bus for her first summer at overnight camp, I called a breeder immediately," Mayman says. "I like having small, cute and cuddly things around house."
Despite the challenges (more on those below), "the entire family is besotted with him and can't imagine life before Brady," she says.
Re-entering the newborn phase
Despite the fact that her two daughters are well past the baby stage, Brady gave Mayman a trip down memory lane.
"The first few months were like having a newborn again—a newborn who didn't sleep very well," she says. "I am also on a first-name basis with a carpet cleaner."
It takes a village... and the city becomes one, too
Having a dog in the city makes you very popular.
"Everyone stops to coo and chat," Mayman says. "Having walked babies and dogs around Manhattan, I think New Yorkers prefer dogs."
That said, there's a lot of work, and a whole staff that helps care of Brady. He gets walked by a dog walker while Mayman and her husband are at work and the kids are at school. They use Throw Me A Bone pet care (walks are anywhere from $19-$31 each depending on how many you buy).
"They provide amazing services (grooming, walking, training, sitting) and send the cutest pictures and notes from their daily walks," Mayman says. "Typical email I get at work: 'Brady's poop was more formed today and he made a new friend named Buttercup.'"
Mayman's top three challenges of owning a dog in the city are as follows:
- "The dirt from the sidewalk—Brady needs at least a bath a week."
- "Not being able to just let him out in the yard to do his business."
- "Being on the street at 6:30 am in my PJs."
"Aside from replacing two carpets and having the rugs cleaned three times, we repainted the wall where we had his baby gate," Mayman says. "His [stuff] is all over the place, including his crate by my bed... It's a toddler who doesn't grow up."