There have been numerous times these past few months of us planning to go up to New York together to visit family and friends but had to cancel because Piri's health took a downward nose dive. It was just too much for him to travel, and so Yangkyu always took those trips up by himself.
Just recently, Piri had a period where he was doing so well - eating well, having extra peps in his steps and so I figured it was the right time to go. But as soon as we booked our AirBnB rental, Piri started to not feel so well and for a while we thought we would have to cancel our trip (and majorly regretting not going with a rental that had a more lenient cancellation policy). But then just a couple of days before we were supposed to make the drive up, Piri started to feel better and act like himself again. We were going! And we were going to have a good time!
Planning trips with Piri, an older dog with medical issues, is a lot different than when he was younger and healthy. Before it was always get up and go and buying his canned food and snacks when we got to our destination, which he would eat with no problems at all. Now it's building in time during our trip to go grocery shopping, preparing his food from scratch, planning our days to feed him and give him his medicine, sub-q fluids, eye drops, supplements (some which have to be refrigerated, some taken once a day, others twice a day). It takes a bit of patience and good planning (and being ok with throwing those plan out the window, and making new ones on the spot, if something unexpected happens), and even though there were moments during our trip where it seemed a little overwhelming or nerve wracking (am I going to be able to give Piri his supplements in time? What do I feed him if he refuses to eat food I made him? What should I give him while we are out? Water! Always pack a bottle of water and wipes and paper towels!), everything turned out ok.
The only thing that didn't go for us was the weather. It rained and was cloudy for the better part of our stay and the sun came out on the last day. We didn't get to explore Manhattan as planned (I had a walking route and everything and planned on writing a dog friendly NYC walking route for the blog -- boo) because it rained so much on Friday and instead we ended up leaving late on Monday when the weather was nice and walked about Central Park for a little bit before going home.
While up there we did also get to check out the the Brooklyn Bridge Park and walked by all of the piers (1-6) and walked halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge. I had wanted to try Juliana's pizza but the line was too long (next time, hopefully). We did get to try Dough (in their Brooklyn location) and we bought a few to share with Yangkyu's sister and her family (they were good).
// A tip if you have a stroller and don't want to walk up the steps up to the Brooklyn Bridge. If you trek a bit further and go to Tillary St. you can take the ramp up to the Brooklyn Bridge. It is a further walk but if you enjoy walking and don't want to be bothered by the hassle of lugging your stroller up the stairs amongst all the tourists, then going to Tillary St. isn't a bad option. //
// Monday was one of those days when we couldn't feed Piri his meal before heading out and so we opted to just wing it while out. Lately Piri's been driving me nuts with only wanting to eat Cesar wet food (it has ingredients that aren't all that healthy for a dog like Piri - old and sick - and we aren't a fan of sodium nitrate either, even for our own consumption, which is an ingredient in Cesar). There was a period when he did eat Solid Gold Sundancer wet food but he's no longer into it. We tried Blue Buffalo and also Merrick Backcountry, which he also ate but it gave him the runs. I can't win..! During our trip to NY we did have a few packages of Cesar with us as back up because it was important for him to eat something. For the better part of the trip, Piri ate food I made him, but when out, I don't bring it incase it goes bad without refrigeration. And so Cesar food it was during our outing in Central Park. Piri usually gets a little restless and smells the air when he gets hungry. That was our signal to take a breather and find the nearest bench to feed him. We had his food, water bottle, his water bowl and dropper, his Maitake supplement which I gave him then as well, wipes for him and me since I hand feed him and also treats. //
// I absolutely love this picture. I think it's my favorite from our trip. //
There were definitely lots of places and food we didn't get to eat, but those things, in the end, didn't matter too much. Being able to go, the three of us, in itself was awesome.
And so many of our friends and family went out of their way to take care of us the entire time we were in NY (different parts - including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island) and NJ -- they stayed out with us in the rain, shared their umbrella with Piri while he peed and pooped, braved the cold and the winds, bought us some really good coffee and food, went with the flow and understood when there was last minute change of plans, told us of really useful NYC parking apps (ParkWhiz) and seriously good parking coupons, made their yards and warm blankets available for Piri, showed him so much love and attention, gave us a place to stay and good food to eat, asked about Piri and how he was doing and listened intently, even when I rambled on.
I had said that this trip is really for Piri and everyone somehow understood and respected that. There were days when we were making plans as the day was happening and many understood when we couldn't meet up with them because our day was already a logistical nightmare. The trip made me realize that we have really good people in our lives. I always feel like I am never the best to them, but I always feel they are the best to us. Thank you for making this trip such a memorable one.
Until next time!
PS -- We stayed at an AirBnB rental called The Edge in Edgewater, NJ. I grew up a few towns over, but always loved hanging out in Edgewater (especially at Mitsuwa, which was called Yaohan's growing up). It is crazy close to the city and is a very nice neighborhood and when we found a listing that also allowed dogs in such a prime area, we were astonished. The price was amazing and the pictures were nice as well. I was a little disappointment with the cleanliness of the place, but really that is me being a little snooty. A rental in a prime location, good price, with public transportation (bus and ferry) so close and shops nearby, it is truly a gem. It is especially good for people who are looking to explore the city and who are ok with commuting in from just across the river. It's not being right in the city, but it's also getting best of both words - a lovely Jersey town right along the Hudson River and being close to the city vibes as well. The host is also friendly and helpful as well. We asked if we could have the place all to ourselves and also gave a description of Piri to see if he would be acceptable, and the host was super accommodating.