When the Dog Decides Where You Live

Last year, Kaitlin and Ben Fund decided to give up their rental near Penn Station and look for an apartment several blocks south of the commuter tumult. It was a perfectly understandable decision, but the couple worried about how the move would affect their golden retriever, Hobie.

Three-year-old Hobie had been a regular at the New York Dog Spa and Hotel on West 25th Street since puppyhood, “and we all really liked it,” said Ms. Fund, 27, who works at a public relations firm.

“When we bought Hobie,” she continued, “we promised ourselves that because he’s a big dog we would send him to day care so he wouldn’t be cooped up at home with nothing to do.” Hobie’s hangout was a very manageable six blocks away from the Funds’ old apartment; it opened early and closed late, an important consideration for the couple, who work long hours.

They found one-bedrooms they liked in TriBeCa, but kept bumping up against the same issue: The nearest dog-minding places were a 25-minute walk away — fine for Hobie, fine for them in summer, much more burdensome for all concerned in winter.

“And the facilities weren’t that nice. They were sort of smelly,” Ms. Fund said.

Finally, they lucked into a rental a mere block and a half from Hobie’s old day care. “It worked out incredibly well,” said Ms. Fund, who sees nothing strange about her priorities. “Hobie is a huge part of our lives, and he goes with us just about everywhere.”

photo: Bert Saville bunks with his Great Dane, Wesley, in an apartment chosen with Wesley in mind. 

Credit: Fred R. Conrad for The New York Times

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