Life with dogs in Manhattan - The ripple effect of happiness. September 13 2013, 1 Comment
For those of you who have ridden the New York City subway, you'll know that you can be in a car with ten people or a car packed like sardines at rush hour and no one, but no one will speak to anyone. Not so much as an acknowledgement, not a "good morning, afternoon, or evening." If anything, you might witness disagreements, arguments, fights, thieves, panhandlers and the inevitable crazy person. Everybody going about their hectic New York life. Manhattanites, like hamsters on their wheels. Running, running, running.
Now, this all changes when you bring a dog on the train. Or I should say, a dog like my Dachshund, Bunny.
As I was getting ready to head downtown NYC to meet some friends, Bunny was doing her very best "take me, take me" dance. As usual, because I'm so well trained, she got her way. She rides the train in a sling style dog bag, though I do admit, she worms her way out so that she can look out of the window at all the dots, spots and things that she sees as the train whizzes through the stations. She generally climbs up my chest and onto my shoulder, pressing her nose against the glass and looking like she's watching a tennis match, glancing side to side, side to side, with an occasional up and down. She also often turns and stares at a person. This is when it starts to happen, people cannot help but to smile (a sight on the subway as rare as a Yeti). And, well, I just can't resist, I have to say something...usually "made you smile!" or when she stares, I say "she doesn't know it's rude...."
So, on this particular occasion, I was surrounded by people. Gradually one by one, they all started smiling and laughing at Bunny's antics. Some would not offer me any eye contact, seemingly wanting to only keep it to themselves or perhaps afraid to engage. As the train continued on, a conversation started up, soon those that were at first reluctant, joined in. We talked about the love of dogs, the funny things that they do, our favorite breeds and the value of a Mutt. A lady mentioned that she had owned a Dachshund that had passed away some years ago, as she spoke her eyes misted and drifted fondly back.
For a few minutes, a train full of strangers found a way to relate to one another, to laugh and enjoy some stories together. Never to see each other again. It truly was a magical New York moment for me. I was glad that I had listened to Bunny's demands, her one persuasive action had a ripple effect of happiness for many.
So, in the City that is oft considered cold and rude, a subway car full of people, found warmth and comradery. It's clear, people aren't so different really. All it takes is knowing what love is, we as dog lovers, all have that in common.