Given that he has four years of direct experience as a dog living in Houston, I thought I’d turn this space over to my pit bull, the fabulous Frankie, this month. That way, he can tell you what it’s like to be a Pet in the City in his own words. I’ll be back next month! — Catherine Matusow, Editor-in-Chief
I often get the question: What’s your favorite place in H-Town? That’s easy, I say. T.C. Jester Dog Park.
Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to go there. My humans, who adopted me from Friends For Life, barred me from visiting the place after I got into a scrap with another dog and an expert told them not to “set Frankie up to fail.” Sigh. I’ll tell you what, man, just passing the place when we take walks along the bayou is sheer torture. When I die and go to heaven, I know exactly what it will look like.
Well, either that or the Oak Forest–area doggie day care Polka Dot Dogs. I do get to go there, three days a week, and socialize in what the humans call a “more controlled environment.” The thing is, and here’s what gets me, I never know which three days. So I stand on the sofa each morning, imploring. If I get the nod, I leap through the air like a gazelle, racing to the garage to get leashed up so I can pile into the car and go see my friends. If I hear, “Sorry, not today, buddy,” I give a wounded look before curling up into a little ball, after which I refuse to make eye contact. That only lasts a minute, though.
Days at home aren’t horrible or anything. I spend time with my BFF, a 4-year-old heeler named Blue. One fun thing to do is to nibble him up and down his body; now and then I also give him a hump, but I generally reserve that for human-male guests. Blue and I like digging holes, eating dirt, racing along the fence, chasing squirrels, reclining in the sun, and barking at our nemesis, the snake that lives in the pool and eats leaves.
We love to play basketball. When the humans get in the pool, we bark at them until they throw us the ball, which we toss back with our snouts. It’s a really good time; I never want to quit playing, ever, ever, ever.
We of course adore a good walk, to our standby, T.C. Jester Park, but also Buffalo Bayou Park, the Arboretum, our own neighborhood, wherever. I don’t know what it is about me, but kids love me. They come close, and I crouch down to their level and let them pet me. Sometimes their parents are scared of me. I have no idea why.
My humans will tell you: I’m no goodie two-shoes, but I’m a good boy. Blue and I are the best companions they could ask for, really. We want nothing in return beyond food, shelter, walks, snuggles, basketball time, and to murder anyone who rings the doorbell. Pretty standard.
If you think I’m spoiled, you’re not wrong. Blue and I have split an Antone’s po’ boy more than once, and we love our Starbucks pup-lattes. But I’m far from the most pampered pooch, as they say, out there. Unlike some other local urban animals (see this month’s “Pets in the City” feature), I don’t own rain boots or have an Instagram account, and I’ve never been to brunch—although, dang, that sounds awesome.
— Frankie B.