Respite, Snorting and Paschal Events

Have you ever directed that ridiculous raspberry sound at a young Pit Bull, Puggle, or French Bulldog, as a passerby on the street? If you ever do, you may find it to be like a universal remote for high tech devices. It almost always causes physiological changes in the subject dog – the mandible and maxilla separate (sometimes like an impossibly wide watermelon wedge), the dogs short, turbulent inhalations/exhalations are similar to a gurgling snort, and the dog approaches, like the most joyous cheese-related recall ever seen. If the dog’s human isn’t in a rush, you may have just cued up a happy mutt moment. If the handler abuses you, then chalk it up as a “New York experience.” I will disavow ever having written the words.

zenpugI’ve been thinking of  possible changes to our business model (addition of a nonprofit management arm or possibly becoming a certified B corp) and the ways that integrative work might be done differently. I have pawed around with the notion of funding, designing and coordination of non-breedist (read: Pit Bull inclusive) Canine Respite Teams (think: therapy dogs at scenes of MCIs (Mass Casualty Incidents) or where other emotionally traumatic events have impacted numbers of people. It’s not novel, by any stretch of the imagination. I have often wondered why they aren’t a routine part of the landscape in places, like New York City. I think insurance is on the short list of reasons. Funeral homes, nonprofit community agencies that work with beleaguered communities, Wall Street and others would probably benefit from opportunities for readily accessible “oxy.” That’s oxytocin, friends, the hormone associated with emotional connectedness, not Oxycodone – the highly addictive, narcotic, respiratory depressant prescribed for pain relief. I’m as jazzed by the work that people would be doing to prepare their dogs for service, as I am for their actual deployment. It’s a manifestation of dog trainer brain, I guess.

meetupWe have a Meetup ( – about twenty members strong and we’re due to connect. I’m about to call for some discussion – we can gather just to meet (we all have the dog lovin’ thang as a unifying theme). Perhaps, there are specific things that folks might like to discuss. They may not want to discuss it, until there’s an actual live meeting. Who knows? I think it possible that the improved weather will encourage some turnout. We have plenty of accessible spaces…

It’s Paschal weekend, and here in New York City, like every other weekend – NYC’s elite teams of vomitus detection dogs are very, very busy with boozy splats of partially digested pizza and fried food, especially on the lower east side of the city. Perhaps some industrious person, inspired by the day’s festivities will decorate the puddles with Peeps, and colorful ribbons – before all of the storefronts are forced to sweep away the broken vodka and beer bottles and hose down the sidewalks.

I need breakfast. On the lower east side, somewhere. Wanna come with?




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