Running With The “Big Dogs” – New York City

Everyone knows that the “big dogs” of business, finance, fashion, and life live and work in Manhattan. I have forever been told that New York Cityis a dog loving city…but with a preference for small dogs. Well let us be the first to tell you New York City is a Big Dog City! Beau was hardly the minority at 65 pounds and he was welcome almost everywhere we went!

The first two nights we stayed at The Westin – NY Times Square in an absolutely JAW dropping, drool inspiring room, (me, not Beau) with a sunset view over the Hudson River on one side and the Empire State Building on the other through the virtually floor to ceiling windows! Simply, spectacular! Upon entering the room Beau found the Heavenly Pet Bed and a box of Milk Bones (which made him very happy)!

The second two nights we were fortunate enough to get a room at the Algonquin Hotel. The Algonquin felt like a sophisticated Victorian ‘gentlemens’ club’ of old. Dark, warm woods, beautifully detailed mosaic tiled floors in the lobby, and a calm and elegance that permeated the entire building. The Algonquin is not only a pet-friendly hotel, they also have a pet cat, Matilda in residence. Matilda sits upon her fancy cat bed in the lobby and oversees all of the daily activities…she is in charge..no doubt about it!

Every where we went, from the dog run on 72nd and Riverside, to the escorted dog-friendly tour provided by NY Dog Tours, to the Apple Store in the Meatpacking District, we saw large dogs! They were everywhere! Come to think of it I don’t think I saw one dog in a purse for the entire 7 days that we were in the city.

Beau and I visited many of the shops, restaurants and activities we have listed on the New York Canine Concierge page and if we had to pick a favorite in each category it would be the following:

Restaurants: CASUAL: Without a doubt it would be Fetch on the Upper East Side. Every member of the staff from the bus person to the owner made a point to say hello and talk to Beau as we dined on the sidewalk. The food was fantastic and the atmosphere was just plain fun! FOR FINE DINING it would have to be Pastis in the Meatpacking District. Pastis is a New York staple and graciously accepts leashed pets in their Parisian sidewalk cafe! The waiter immediately brought Beau a bowl of water, without being asked and checked to see if he needed anything several times throughout the meal, (which by the way, was delicious…get the steak frites!)

Activities: Our favorite activity was the escorted NY Dog Tours tour. Run by the same people who run NY Chocolate Tours, our guide Bert was informative, funny, and genuinely interested in imparting his knowledge of the city. We took the Battery Park/Financial District Tour which took us along the river and afforded us a view of Lady Liberty seldom seen. Under $30 for two hours it would be a value if you weren’t able to bring your dog, but because you can bring your dog it is a spectacular way to learn about the city!

The thing I enjoyed most about being in New York City with Beau was watching the people who were walking toward us on the sidewalks. From a distance I could see them see Beau for the first time and watch the huge smile that would spread across their face. They would catch Beau’s eye and the two of them I swear, would have a ‘moment’. There is a certain nostalgia that Irish Setters bring to people; everyone had an Irish Setter in the 70’s and without fail, people will say to me, “Boy an Irish Setter, you don’t see those anymore!, He’s beautiful!” I am under the impression that Beau and I are on this cross country tour to promote PAW;Pet-friendly Accommodations Worldwide. I think Beau is on a cross country mission to single handedly bring back the Irish Setter!

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