Human's Best Friend

Behold! There is now a dog pop-up in NYC for both dog owners and dog lovers, and well, your dog too if you have one. Unfortunately for me, I do not own one - yet! Similar to the subject of a child, we have yet to decide when the “time” is right. We’re still struggling to get on a regular set schedule aligned with one another, and I’m still too much on the go. But alas, one of these days, I’ll slow down. One. Of. These. Days.

And on top of that, we can’t compromise on what we want. I want a cute little teacup baby while he basically wants a dog the size of a bear. I want something cute and cuddly and he wants something huge and monstrous. Clearly, we are on extreme opposites of the matter. Regardless of what we end up with, like a baby, we’ll probably love it nonetheless. We’ll see what happens when the time comes. And you bet your bottom dollar I have my puppy name picked out.

Anyway, back to the main attraction! I stopped by Human’s Best Friend, the new dog pop-up with my sisters. We got there around 1pm on Saturday and there wasn’t a long line. When we left, the line was down the block with everyone bringing their dog. Word got out fast since it’s so easily visible from the street walking or driving by. Check-in was quick and easy, you sign a waiver, they go over rules and you enter in small groups a few at a time so it never feels congested. It also gives the dogs enough space to play freely the way they allow people in a few at a time. It is a one-way experience, however. Once you leave a room, you can’t go back, only forward until you come full circle. And they don’t precisely time you but you are limited on time so that people behind you get their own chance to come in. I would say, you’ll probably spend about 30-45 minutes inside on the experience.

Oh yes, and if you don’t have your own dog, there are adoptable babies there too for you to play with, from local rescue organizations. And of course, everyone else’s dogs that people bring in as well, so long as the owners/other guests are okay with it. Always ask!

We played with both other owner’s dogs and the rescued babies and they were all so sweet. A lot of them are hams! They are just ready to pose it up or melt into your arms and force you to love them forever.

The actual space is small compared to other major pop-ups I’ve been to, but still pretty big for what it is, and has tons of room for all the dogs to run around in freely. And the time lapse in between each entry helps to make it so. There are plenty of cute photo ops all over the spaces for you and your dog and each room is gated so no one space gets congested. They have people in each room to make sure it’s ok to move onto the next space, in case the dogs don’t play well with each other. They also do their best to separate the big dogs from the small dogs when entering, for safety reasons.

The rooms are really cute. The entrance looks like a dog house and leads to a living room couch, with a cute dinner table and toilet seat fire hydrants. From there you walk into a purple room with glitter bones hanging from the ceiling. There are treats in this room for the dogs, which I thought was really nice for the pop-up to have. (They were supplied by the Ollie company, which I found is a brand dedicated to making healthier food for dogs, basically ‘cleaner’ ingredients, and they can tailor it to your dog. They’re also an online only brand though so it gets delivered straight to your door.) From there, you go through the rainbow bridge into a room with a pool full of squeaky toys. The rainbow bridge was really pretty but a little loud so I found some smaller dogs sensitive to loud sounds were not particularly fond of it, while other dogs ran up and down the bridge to their delight. From that room, you walk into another room with a different pool of toys. This room had 4 different walls for you to take photos from, with different splashes of color. The last room before re-entering the room with the dog house gate has a big ramp for dogs to run up and down.

The wall opposite the ramp has the pop-up’s mission statement displayed, basically explaining the pop-up was designed to celebrate dogs and bring people in to help rescue and adopt more dogs. There are so many dogs out there in need of a home and once you see that adorable face, how could you not? I see the main idea and it’s a really great way to get it done. Pop-ups are really trending right now and it’s a great tool to leverage exposure of rescue dogs in need of a family to take them home and give them some much needed love, attention and care. And for once, this is also a pop-up designed to be pet-friendly for those always traveling with their best friend. The rescue dogs are different from day to day as they get adopted and are also from several local animal rescue organizations, thereby giving back to the community when you help out.

So if you’re looking to adopt or if you have a dog already, if you’re in the NYC area this fall, definitely stop by and check it out. Even if pop-ups aren’t your thing, this was super cute. It was fun playing with all the dogs. Just be mindful of your time slot and if the time you choose to come by. If you choose a busier time of day, you may get rushed through the experience to allow for other guests and dogs to come through. But if it’s a little slower, than you can take your time, I’d imagine since there’s no reason to rush you if there’s no one waiting behind you. I was here for about 45 minutes before being asked to leave so that more guests may enter. It’s $29 for just humans to enter, but $39 for you and your pet, which can be quite pricey for the experience and the pop-up’s allotment of time. Tickets are also only available online, not at the door since it’s all time slotted entry, not first-come, first-serve. Don’t expect to be able to walk in if you walk by the area and decide you want to just walk in. The weekends definitely get busy since more people are out with their babies on the weekends and time off.

If you go though, have lots of fun and remember to give some love to the adoptable pups too!