The stay in Brooklyn was an eye opener for Niko. It overwhelmed him and he was a different dog. He was very shy around new people and cautious on our walks. The poor thing didn't know how to go to the bathroom on pavement! I took every opportunity I had to take him on walks. The closest patch of grass (about a square foot) was 2 long blocks away. As soon as we get to grass, he did his business. It's funny to see how programmed his mind is.
The first night when I took him out for a walk, I envisioned what it was like to be Niko or someone being in NYC for the first time. I experienced it with him and noted all the stimulus he is not used to. Typically, at 9pm back home, we see stars, an occasional car driving by, and we hear the sound crickets. In Brooklyn, even though it was 9pm, there were people walking about, buses humming along, cars whizzing by, kids up to know good at the street corner, and in the distance, the subway train chugging along the tracks. I took it slow and didn't force Niko into anything he wasn't comfortable with. When he stopped and refused to go in one direction for whatever reason, I'd go in a different direction. There was so many new scents for him to sniff too. What's interesting is after one walk, he was able to sniff out the door to the apartment we were staying at. Every time we came near it, he'd pull to go towards the door as if he was telling me "OK, I've had enough for one walk, I need to process all the new things I just saw." Niko is no city-savvy dog like Shio!
A nice walk along Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach Dog Run/Park.
There were some major positives that came out of this trip. I introduced Niko to my family and he was well received. Niko was clingy and protective of me. Not once did I have to worry he would run off. Being in a new environment made him stay very close to me and it was nice to be that safety zone for him. Also, Niko and I went to a dog park for the very first time. We actually went to 2 different ones and it made me wish we had one in our neighborhood. It's a great and affordable way to socialize your dog with other dogs and run out their energy. Overall, this experience was another one that helped Niko be a well rounded dog, working towards the goal of socializing him to new things. It was fun and exciting and overwhelming all at the same time.
When we arrived home, Niko was back to his old self in no time. He rolled around in the grass and sat peacefully in his usual spot in the backyard observing the quiet simple life of the country.