City Pulse

By Razi Schwartz

I have a theory about New Yorker’s and their dogs: the smaller the apartment, the larger the dogs, and the larger the apartment, the smaller the dogs. I mean, think about it – there’s a dog that lives around Second Ave and 9th Street named Bear who, if I’m not mistaken, is a Newfoundland Terrier. How big can an apartment really be in that neighborhood to fit a Newfoundland? And then, there’s Fifi and Foufou who live on Park Avenue in the Upper 60s – does Fifi really need 4,000 square feet of palatial goodness? Bear thinks not.

an image

Ok, I started on a tangent, but you’ll see where point A meets point B in my brain when you learn of this piece of fabulousness I found for tomorrow night. It’s a screening at the Anthology Film Archives – quel film, you ask? It’s called “A Dog’s Life” a “dogamentary” about Chelsea, a diva-rific Shih Tzu…who happens to belong to an Emmy award-winning filmmaker who knew she was so fab she deserved her own film.

And her own film she got. Follow the day-in and day-out life of Chelsea – and Gayle Kirschenbaum, her owner – as they tackle New York as two magnificent single women should. A huge part of this film focuses on the role that Chelsea and Gayle have in each other’s lives – ok, who are we kidding, it focuses on how important Chelsea is in Gayle’s life, the powerful role she plays, and how she filled a void in one lonely human’s heart that she didn’t even know needed to be filled.

I’m totally a dog person, but because of timing, schedules, blah, blah, blah, I have a cat. Now, don’t get me wrong – my cat is very much like a dog, but…he’s still a cat. And let me be the first to tell you, I never thought I could love a furry little buggar as much as I love him. And if any of you have had a companion like Chelsea…or my Larry (shout-out to the Lar Lar, in da house…!), you’ll know how important those little furballs are in a life. Really, as cheesy as it sounds, one loveable pet can turn an ordinary life into an extraordinary one filled with drool, wee-wee pads, yucky smelling food and lots of love.

One more thing about how amazing Chelsea is – after 9/11, Chelsea became a certified therapy dog delivering smiles to anyone and everyone who needs it. Oh my god, if only therapy dogs could be substituted for therapists – how awesome would that be? Seriously, sometimes I feel like my cat is the only one who understands – maybe we’re on to something here people, maybe we’re on to something.

So…for the feel good film of the day/week/month/year, go check out “A Dog’s Life” tomorrow night. I know you’ll love it…LOVE IT! It’ll for sure make you want to go out and get a Shih Tzu, even if you only live in a studio…

A Dog’s Life, January 18th, 7:00pm, New York, NY
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue at 2nd Street
212 505-5181

Originally published January 2006
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