By A. Campbell
AwwoooOOoooOOOOooo! No, no! Don’t be frightened – it’s not a ghost. That’s just my Beagle howl.
I’m Jessie, a 16-year-old beagle mix who has been living in the neighborhood since 2006. That’s 112 years in dog time. My Dad adopted me when I was 8-months-old and I traveled all the way to the city from Tennessee. I’m much smaller than most beagles but I have innate alpha energy, so I always try to assert myself by standing on a large rock or a bench.
I’m also a very good judge of character and one of my absolute favorite people in the neighborhood is my walker, Tom Cooke of. In addition to ensuring that I get my daily exercise – which I personally think has directly contributed to my long, happy and healthy life – Tom also takes lots of flattering photos of me on our adventures. He knows all my best angles.
As we creep closer to Halloween, I’ll share some of my favorite neighborhood “haunts”. Fred’s is a classic. My photo is included on their famous wall of dogs. I love sitting outside and people watching at the corner of W. 83rd and Amsterdam. When I’m in the mood to lounge, I’ll head over toward the Great Lawn or Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park where I can enjoy unobstructed views of the city’s midtown skyline and soak up the sun.
Because I’ve got a keen nose for scents, I think I would make a fantastic NYC tour guide. You see all those tourists slowly riding around in the back of a bike cart in Central Park? Pfffffttt! A rookie mistake! Follow me and my nose and I’ll lead you straight to all the best restaurants with mouthwatering smells wafting from their front doors. Hot pizza at Marinara or Mama’s Two! Coq au vin at Amelie! A fresh lobster roll at Luke’s! The list goes on and on. I may not be able to partake of all those delicious meals myself, but those on the tour certainly could.
My love for food applies to more traditional dog-friendly snacks too. In fact, once my Dad and I met a dog psychic and she told Dad, “Jessie’s really bored with the same treats over and over. She wants a rotation of different treats.” I felt so SEEN in that moment. YES! THANK YOU! I had been trying to convey that same message for ages, but it never seemed to come across. So now, thanks to the psychic, Dad spoils me with everything from dried chicken to doggy trail mix to beef bites and peanut butter. *Smacks lips*
Dad and I live on the 16th floor of a high rise building and there’s a special corner in the apartment where I love to sit and look out over Broadway and W. 83rd. I like to think of myself as Batman or maybe Jimmy Stewart in “Rear Window” – keeping watch over the neighborhood from high above on my perch.
In all seriousness though, I’m just so grateful to have been rescued and given such a fabulous life here in New York City. Dad and I are soulmates as well as outspoken advocates for the joys of adopting. He’s said that he can’t imagine going through the pandemic and so many of life’s hardships without me by his side. I feel the exact same way. We’ve been blessed to find each other.