At first, I found it odd that so many New Yorkers have dogs. I thought little of the teacup breeds carried in purses in SoHo. It was the bigger breeds that concerned me. The Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds and Pointers. Is it ethical to keep a large dog in a city where grass is scarce?
I began to notice giant dogs everywhere I went. A pair of Great Danes tied outside a bar in the East Village. An elderly lady with a St. Bernard in Union Square. An Irish Wolfhound who patrolled Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.
The most impressive giant I ever saw was a Great Pyrenees. I’d never seen one before. I had been walking up 6th Avenue and turned left on 23rd Street on a whim. I would’ve been alone were it not for the massive white dog and his owner at the end of the block.
I was blown away by the sight of this dog. He looked like a polar bear on a leash. Large enough to swallow a big-boned toddler whole.
The owner wore a tan trench coat and was seated on a ledge. He was affectionately stroking the dog behind the ears. Didn’t notice me approaching.
Trench Coat stuck his leg out. The dog reared back and mounted it and started humping. Trench Coat embraced his pet. Pulled him closer. Urged him on. Sprouted a little grin.
Trench Coat’s eyes rolled back and the carrot came out. The dog humped faster. Then, Trench Coat saw me approaching.
Quickly pushed the dog off. Stood up from the ledge. Brushed himself down. Did an about-face and walked stiff-legged in the opposite direction.
I have yet to cross paths with another Great Pyrenees.