By Gordon T. Hughes, Jr.
You know it’s one of the highlights of our West Village scene. We see this remarkable parade taking place on our streets daily. I tend to get the best views from my favorite coffee haunt, Cafe Panino Mucho Giusto on Hudson Street. Most of the year, there’s a water bowl placed by the front door, and this is where the action begins for me. Yes, it’s our DOGS, West Village DOGS.
Often, owners tie their dogs’ leashes to one of the two benches out front, as they dash in for a bagel and a cup of joe. I watch the dog as he or she watches his or her master go into the secret place to reappear with FOOD. I see the bubble appear above the dogs head that says, “Oh boy, food,” and yes they get a bite or two.
If you walk along Hudson River Park, you come to a dog run. Here, you will see dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds getting together and playing. If only their masters could do the same.
Another wonderful sight in the Village are the dog walkers. The unsung heroes of the canine world are unbelievable. I’ve seen a walker with eight or nine beasts keeping perfect order—no fighting, perfect cadence, and immaculate cleanup. Remarkable! I have heard that these folks make a pretty good living before they go off to perform on Broadway.
Something else I have noticed is that large men often walk very small dogs while smaller men walk huge dogs. I’m not sure what that is about.
There is a great deal of debate over which is the smartest breed but I don’t think dogs care much about that. Really only people do. So, while I’m in the City and away from my golden retrievers, the dogs of the West Village make me smile. So what if Volkswagen vans have been replaced by Range Rovers, and so what if storefront rentals on Bleecker Street have skyrocketed and your favorite restaurant has gone the way of the dodo bird? The DOGS of the West Village will be with us, and no matter the weather or political climate, these dogs will always make us feel just a little bit better.