The Waiting Dogs of NYC


If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.
                           – Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (Act Three)

The modern dog spends a significant portion of his or her life waiting. Much of a dog’s waiting time happens away from human eyes, alone in houses or apartments, waiting, patiently or not, for owners to return from wherever it is that owners go.

But in New York City, where so much of life takes place on the street, dogs also wait in public.

Lucky dogs wait together.

But most dogs wait alone.

How many little losses a dog endures each day, never knowing if a separation will be long or short.

It’s not easy to wait. Waiting is, by definition, uncertain.

And so reunion, never taken for granted, is always sweet and fresh, no matter how many times a day it happens.

Are dogs on to something here?

Explore posts in the same categories: 2012, In the City

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15 Comments on “The Waiting Dogs of NYC”


  1. love the sentiment here….. there’s nothing quite like a dog’s greeting…. ‘sweet and fresh’!


  2. […] The Waiting Dogs of NYC is a photo essay of New York’s ubiquitous waiting dogs. Dogs wait for their owners outside […]


  3. loved this, Melis. I took photos of waiting dogs in Paris a few years ago. Perhaps a comparative study could be made… are French dogs more patient? I doubt it. Actually, they don’t have to wait as much because they get to GO INSIDE AND SIT ON THE TABLES!

    beautiful post.

  4. WildBill Says:

    Gee wilikers, this piece tugged at my heart strings. I work out of my home office, so the dogs have me around most of the time, except in my busy season where I’m gone some days and working in the office on others.

    They howl incessantly when my wife and I return. I find that both sad and happy!

  5. Barbara Says:

    Always enjoy your posts Melissa – but this one was especially touching. As a dog lover (like you) I have always found it difficult to have only one dog – for the very reason you mention – they hang around waiting all the time, sleeping, wondering, dreaming… so I have had, with a couple of exceptions when one passed away and it was too soon to get another – at least two dogs for the latter part of my life.

    Your photographs are moving. Each one tells a story as they look at you, or away, or at the restaurant, the store, the street – wherever the dog’s “person” has gone…. very special. Thanks


  6. […] the Dog. Melissa captures something special in every post she publishes. Her most recent post, The Waiting Dogs of NYC, just about broke my […]

  7. Charlotte Says:

    Seems like this post percolated for a long time, like waiting, to become as rich as it is. Love those dogs.

  8. CGJ Says:

    As Inigo Montoya said in The Princess Bride… “I hate waiting.”

  9. John Says:

    thank you! i love your blog – read it every time :)..

  10. Mr. Mantooth Says:

    Only you (and maybe Shakespeare in his fifth acts) would end with sweet and fresh reunion. Maybe would should get a couple of dogs together to do a street corner canine Waiting For Godot (or Godog.) Lovely, perfect post.


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