Raising Canine

Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul lands an appointment with a much sought after NYC doggie dermatologist.  REMINDER: Take my survey

“New York, where everything is harder than it should be.  And more expensive,” said my dear friend Martin (in a made-up Brooklyn accent) many years ago when he helped me move to the Big Apple.  And boy if the past decade (and a half) hasn’t proved him right.

Take child rearing, for example.  People always talk about the challenges of raising a child in Manhattan.  Now a co-parent of my second Bichon Frise pup, I whole-heartedly agree.

Chef and I have been lucky with our Au Pairs.  In Alphabet City, we had Kasia from Poland who would take Winnie, and later Frida, out for hours and hours at a time.  Since Kasia was a visual artist, I assumed my little ones were assisting in her workshop and learning a third language, since they were already bi-lingual in English and Spanish.  When our family moved to Washington Heights, Kasia moved to Maine, but not before Frida was the guest of honor at Kasia’s gallery opening in Alphabet City.  Frida chose two provocative oil paintings now hanging over the couch in her study.

Frida handing over a check to her artist-Au Pair Kasia at her gallery opening

But as anyone will tell you, it’s health care that’s a killer.  Despite the fact that it takes over an hour by subway to visit trumpet playing Argentine Doc Moscovich in the East Village, I’m loyal to our puppy-pediatrician.  But now he’s referring us to an Allergy-Dermatology Specialist for Frida’s ongoing hot-spots problem.

Just the words “referral” and “specialist” make my heart beat faster.  Not because I worry about the outcome.  But because I know that as a New Yorker those are fighting words.  It means doing battle to score an appointment.

“Let’s see.  The first thing I have is a little over a month away.  How would January 7 work?” said the extremely nice nurse at Animal Allergy and Dermatology.

“Sure, but we’re leaving town for a couple of weeks for the holidays and was hoping for something sooner.”

“That’s understandable.  But unfortunately, January 7 is all I have.”

Seasoned New Yorkers know when faced with a velvet rope rejection that a little name dropping is in order.

“My dear friend’s Chris and Tom just rave about Dr. Peikes.  Say she’s just done wonders for Edie.”

“Oh, you know Edie?”

“Yes, she’s actually Frida’s cousin.  They sort of grew up together.”

“Well, in that case, why don’t I put you on a waiting list in case anything comes up I can call you?”

I’ve played the “waiting list” game before—it’s how I scored a coveted table at the French Laundry in Napa.  Put your name on the list, then call the host every day and flirt, and beg, and plead until something “magically opens” up.

Guess what?  Frida and I are off for our first round of allergy testing today.  But only after I fill out a 4-page Dermatology History Report that is more extensive than the paperwork at my own specialists.  I stopped myself on seemingly simple question like, “Pet’s Name.”  Do I own up to her full gay Dad from Mexico name—Frida Carlota Xochtil Amarilla Buchmeyer Chavez?

New York, where everything is harder than it should be.

1 Comment

Filed under Background, East Village

One response to “Raising Canine

  1. jimjim

    Best of luck to father and Frida today at the doggie dermatologist! Sending our love, J2

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