Have you gone soft?
You were once the source of my bulldog inspiration. On your streets I witnessed squat, panting bullies with studded collars so extreme I crossed the street in fear. There were the mohawks, and the leather, and the chains–and the owners!?, a whole ‘nother story. I imagined sophisticated urban parties with bulldogs perched on a corner throne; the name BRUTUS embroidered on the back of a bright yellow cape tied so gently around a fat bully neck; water and food bowls made out of bone. It was somewhere between your streets and the bustling metropolis of Emmaus, PA that I grabbed onto the name “Sherbert” and held that imaginary bulldog in my head for years. Years, I tell you.
But then I moved to the Wild West, where the streets are wide, and the term urban so relative, and new bulldogs crowd my life. I see bulldogs riding shotgun in beat-up pickup trucks, their jowls bouncing in tune with the rotten transmission, their owner’s long overgrown hair dangling in their eyes just inches from a lit cigarette. I see bulldogs riding in the bottom of a four-wheeler, their owners hanging on for dear life while the new incarnation of BRUTUS smiles from the floor, his head dangling in my direction, laughing.
Soon I return to your streets, on a perfect bulldog day. The skies overcast, the temperature moderate. I do see some bulldogs (one Frenchie, two English, and one American – I think) to be exact, but I don’t really see them…I have to stare at them in earnest. Are those bulldogs? I’m confused. There are no studs, no leather, no bling at all.
Instead I’m enamored by a Shih Tzu. An Ewok-looking Shih Tzu wearing pigtails. Two little pigtails off the top of her head. A Shih Tzu who will not be tamed as she paws her way almost inside a shopping bag in search of snacks. A Shih Tzu who snuffs her tennis ball out into the NYC traffic. A Shih Tzu who upends her water dish the nice waiter has decided to bring her; a water dish that sits atop her frisbee. A Shih Tzu who jumps up on her papa’s chair when he vacates it and sits there at the corner diner looking like, finally, perhaps, she can relax.
All this on top of the fact that there are rumored to be endless roller derby ladies throughout Philadelphia harboring bullies of all shapes and sizes (although perhaps this is only heresay as I only saw one trolling the streets). Roller derby queens who throw elbows with abandon and wear hot pants without pants over them and who have been known to rescue ailing pit bulls in the most unsavory of streets. And judging by the submissions to this site, the DC area has far more bullies than the rest of the country combined. And you don’t want to know about the traffic sunny California sends to this site on a daily basis.
So I ask again, NYC have you gone soft?!? Please return the urban to UrbanBulldog by my next visit. You have a year.