There's lots of excitement about the new exhibit, Petropolis: A Social History of Urban Animal Companions, at the New York Historical Society and Glenn Collins of the Times looks at what some New Yorkers will do for their pets, which include cats, rabbits, snakes, rats, mice, chickens, geese, pigeons, ferrets, turtles and tropical fish - but it's certainly dog-heavy, as dogs can break the ice between you and that cute guy or girl like nothing else, this side of a strong drink. Spending thousands of dollars in one shot and forcing them into marriages seem to be normal, though some pet owners look at such acts with disdain ("A dog is a domesticated wolf, and it must be treated with respect, as a dog, and not as a surrogate child").
That got Gothamist thinking about this Forward article by Rachel Zuckerman about bark mitzvahs - yes, you read that right, bark mitzvahs. The reasons for giving dogs bark mitzvahs range from the "chosen" ("I think my dogs are very Jewish, since I am") to the social ("Kasha [the dog] had turned 13, so we decided to have a party for our friends.... We didn't recite any prayers, and there was no rabbi there...It was really just a theme party for our dog."). Bark mitzvahs - this clearly is the void in Gothamist's social calendars. We'd be happy to go to canine christening, communions, and confirmations as well.
Check out Kasha's Bark Mitzvah. And one of our favorite New York pet stories is My Fine Feathered Friend about the poignant relationship between Times food critic William Grimes and the chicken who wandered into his backyard and life, Chicken.