Ask anyone who lives in Seattle. It has been 55˚F and overcast or raining there since September of 2009. Last summer, the summer of 2010, there was no hot weather, not even the usual week or two of it.  I left Seattle July 1st wearing a winter coat.
We arrived in New York City July 6th, and it has been hot every day since. I realized today that it’s so hot now that I don’t mind when two or three drips from a high, far-away AC unit drip on me. The garbage piles smelled so bad the other night we were forced to change the route of the late-night poop walk.  The late-night poop walk is the last dog walk before bedtime. Some nights one dog or the other will not poop, which is alarming to me, but for all my alarm we have yet to have any accidents inside. (Knock on wood.) Cherry has also had a couple of pee-strikes, where she refuses to pee for the whole walk, but so far this has been her own problem.  Neither dog objects to peeing or pooping on the pavement, peeing or pooping in the middle of the pavement, or peeing or pooping in a crowd of fast moving pedestrians.
I was worried that we do not understand dog pee and poop etiquette in New York City, so I tried to do some research about it.   Other than learning that it is illegal to leave dog poop on the sidewalk, which is obvious, I have not discovered much about what you should do when your dog decides that the best place to pee is on the potted plant in front of the spotless Japanese hotel on the corner, or the side of a building that houses a podiatrist’s office, or a small mountain of bagged garbage lying on the sidewalk. I am, of course, waiting for the famously pointed New York comment, delivered with a shout.  It has not come.
Sometimes when we head out for a walk, we don’t hear anyone speaking English.  It is crowded enough on the sidewalk in this neighborhood to have to weave in and out of human traffic.  Captain loves to steal a sniff or a taste of a passing hand, so when anyone makes eye-contact with him or reaches for him, he returns their admiration with a dab of his saliva.  If you are wondering if this really happens, I can tell you it happened three times when I walked him about an hour and a half ago.
Both dogs sit nicely and wait for crossing streets now, and I will not be surprised when they start doing it without being asked.  We have now been here one week.  In that time I have heard two different women walk past me and my dogs say loudly to their companions, “Oh! Ugh! I HATE dogs.”  Many, many more people stop to admire them, or ask if they’re Vizslas.  I somehow don’t mind the dog-haters letting me know they hate my dogs. I’ve usually got a fresh warm bag of shit in my hand.

Cats on Twitter

It was after I followed @Sockington that I realized Schwartz should have his own Twitter account.  In case you don’t know, @Sockington is a gray and white cat on Twitter with just under a million and a half followers. Lately, he seems to tweet about once a day, and I’ve never heard him offer up anything that wasn’t 100% cat. I’ve never found him laugh-out-loud-funny, but he is what I would call cat-droll; he tweets about cat things like naps and snacks, and uncomfortable changes to routine, and terrors like the vacuum cleaner. Eschewing punctuation, @Sockington resorts instead to an alternating lowercase/ALL CAPS also employed by other funny pets on Twitter, like the deranged urination fountain know as @Frankie_Wah.

@Frankie_Wah is incredibly clever with language, occasionally creating spit-out-your-coffee moments for a casual Twitter feed reader.  He is a fully-fleshed out knucklehead of a feisty little dog, both terrified and aggressive, with a weakness for marking things with a little squirt of dog piss. 
If you go on Twitter and look, you can easily figure out that @Frankie_Wah’s ghost-writing owner is fantasy and science fiction author Tad Williams, and that @Sockington is the brain-child of Jason Scott. You will also discover that @Sockington’s followers are collectively known as Socks Army, and that Scott uses his renown to raise a lot of money for animal charities on Socks’ website.

There are a whole lot of cats on Twitter.  Of course I know that they are people, but they are not tweeting as themselves, they tweet as their cats. Schwartz only follows animals, and most are cats and dogs. There is a young elephant in the Taronga Zoo in Australia that tweets as @MisterShuffles .  There is an atheist tortoise in the UK called @Flo_Tortoise. There are some stuffed rabbits, like @theBaxterBunny and @ZackRabbit, and some stuffed bears, @thisBear and @TheBackpackBear, and some effusive Norwegian rubber finger puppets tweeting as @Happpiii.  
If you hit “Browse Interests” on Twitter, you will see their list of categories:  Art & Design, Books, Business, Charity, Entertainment, Family, Fashion, Food & Drink, Funny, Government, Health, Music, News, Science, Sports, Staff Picks, Technology, Travel, Twitter. No pets. I have tried for several months to get someone at Twitter to answer questions about how they define themselves as a social network platform, but have only so far been rebuffed with automatically generated emails.  
Conventional media sources all dutifully refer to Twitter as a “micro-blogging site.” The persistence of the use of this term tells me that Twitter does have some sort of PR department.  I would argue, though, that Twitter is more of a massive, multi-player game.  The point of the game is to gain as many followers as possible. One of the great things about the pets on Twitter is that if you are a pet and you follow them, they will follow you back.

Someday I will write about the #wlf, the Twitterati, some funny bots, dreadful misuses of Twitter, and what happens if you mention Ayn Rand.