Pets: you either hate them or love them. But dog lovers in New York go all the way. They share their tiny apartments with dogs which might be as big as themselves.
In New York, a great number of people keep pets as company against loneliness and endow them with human qualities. They consider their dog a member of the family and give them Christmas or birthday presents. A multi-billion-dollar business has developed around dog-walkers, dog-giftshops, dog-hairdressers, dog food shops, dog vets and dog kennels.
With proof of a current dog license and rabies vaccination, owners can allow dogs to run off-leash in certain designated areas. These are also a place for people to meet other dog lovers, a dating ground for owners. Once you start paying attention to dogs in the streets of New York, you notice how many there are and how much they are loved by their owners. One can see them in all sizes and shapes – the dogs, as well as their owners. Indeed, most of the time the pet and owner match.
When I was taking pictures of dogs, I never had to ask. Dog owners are very proud of their dogs and love to be photographed. They saw me, smiled and always agreed.