By A. Campbell
Good morning! I’m Poca, a four-year-old rescue from Best Friends Animal Society. I traveled to New York City from Texas after some difficult experiences early in my life. When I arrived, my front leg was badly wounded and needed to be amputated, but I manage to get around town — and romp around the dog park — just fine as a tripod. My parents even thoughtfully adapted pieces of furniture in our apartment to ensure that I could jump up onto comfy chairs and couches with ease.
I became a Pupper West Sider after my Mom volunteered to serve as a foster parent for Best Friends Animal Society. When she arrived to pick me up from their headquarters downtown, I was so scared and shaky that she had to coax me into a nearby 99-cent pizza shop just to calm me down. We sat together for a long time smelling the freshly baked pies as Mom fed me treats, hugged and petted me until I was finally ready to make the journey uptown. As you may have guessed, I was blessed to quickly become a “foster fail” and to make my foster home my forever home.
It didn’t take long for me to adjust to city life. Together, Mom and I undertook house-training and I mastered it — with her help and patience — in just 48 hours. But at times, my intelligence has become a liability for my parents. They quickly discovered that I have an iron stomach and a talent for snarfing out contraband. A list of prohibited snacks I’ve managed to sneak includes: a bag of flour, an entire bag of Greenies, a bag of coffee beans (very bad for dogs, do not recommend!), and a box of uncooked pasta. My predilection for scavenging on these Upper West Side streets has even been rewarded with a half-eaten pastrami sandwich. Delish! *Smacks lips*
Despite the anxiety I may have caused my parents each time they leave the apartment (and wonder aloud if they left any cabinets unlocked), the three of us coexist perfectly. Each morning Mom finds me sprawled on the couch, legs akimbo, luxuriating in the warmth of our apartment. She rouses me and I know it’s time for our morning walk in Riverside Park. We return and as Mom prepares my breakfast, I spin circles with anticipation. Throughout the day, I’ll enjoy quality time with my Dad as he works from home before the two of us take another stroll through Riverside Park. The cherry blossom trees just exploded in blooms the past week, didn’t they? What a gorgeous time of year. (Springtime is second only – in my opinion – to the morning after a blizzard when you can race around in the fluffy white snow.) In each room of our apartment, there’s a special pillow or daybed for me and I’ll move, like a sundial, across the apartment laying in each warm spot as the sun moves across the sky.
If you think your pup deserves a shot at neighborhood fame, we encourage you to reach out to Audrey at firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for a future profile on West Side Rag and follow your fellow Pupper West Sider’s adventures on Instagram at @pupper_west_side_uws
If readers are interested in becoming pet owners, we encourage you to consider adopting or volunteering to be a foster parent with one of the many shelters and nonprofits based in and around New York City. These include but aren’t limited to Muddy Paws Rescue; Animal Lighthouse Rescue; Animal Care Centers of NYC; NYC ASPCA; Humane Society of New York; Bideawee; Social Tees; Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue and Animal Haven.