By: A. Campbell
Hello, my name is Dr. Hank but I’m known around the neighborhood as Hank the Puggie, but you can just call me Hank. I’m a nine-year-old pug and I’ve lived my whole life on the Upper West Side. My mom and I feel so blessed to be here and to have met so many neighbors through our work. Mom is a veterinarian and she practiced for 14 years at Lincoln Square Veterinary Hospital before opening her own practice downtown — Pure Paws Veterinary Care.
Each morning, Mom and I take the 1 train down to Houston Street during our daily commute. I move a bit slower than I used to due to a neurological condition and cyst on my spinal cord which have caused weakness in my back legs. I drag my feet a bit and Mom has already purchased me a doggy wheelchair in preparation for the times I need some extra support. With my future needs in mind, I’m also happy to report that our new offices are completely ADA-compliant for both people and animals. Wide doors and no stairs help ensure that any person or animal with a physical disability will be comfortable at Pure Paws.
At the office, my responsibilities include greeting patients and serving as a reassuring, comforting presence; overseeing quality control for products and services; maintaining high staff morale; and monitoring the treat inventory which I play a personal role in depleting on a daily basis. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful animals, with only a few exceptions…Ahem…Most notably, my nemesis and fellow Upper West Sider Artie the Great Dane. I regret to inform you that it quickly became clear Artie’s love of pugs was specific to Sergeant Pepper and did not extend to me. Hmph.
Now that summer solstice has come and gone, city pets and their owners should prepare for hot months ahead. With that in mind, I’d like to offer a few veterinarian-approved tips and tricks to ensure you and your pet stay healthy and happy all summer long. As temperatures rise, remember to always bring water for your pup. My mom keeps water bottles in the freezer and grabs one as we head outside. As the bottle thaws and melts, I get to enjoy a constant supply of fresh, cold water. Bonus points for those who refill their bottles and reduce waste!
And speaking of cool and refreshing treats, I am happy to report that a wide variety of summer fruits are veterinarian-approved to double as doggy treats. Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are all safe for pups. If you happen to pick up a watery or unripe melon, don’t despair. Try cutting it up into bite size pieces appropriate for your pup and freezing them to dole out as a hydrating, nutritious, and delicious summer treat! Above all, just remember to always be aware of your pup’s general well-being and prepare accordingly. Enjoy your summer vacation, Pups!
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.