Service takes New York City dogs hiking in the woods
OAKLAND, N.J. (FOX5NY.COM) - Being stuck inside is no fun for dogs in New York City. So several times a week, Tucker, a 1-year-old collie mix, and his brother Maui get picked up from their SoHo apartment and are driven about an hour outside the city.
On a recent Thursday, Amy Marshall was their driver.
"They know when we're at the exit and they're ready to barrel out," she said.
Marshall takes the dogs hiking.
"For the most part, everyone just runs around," she said of the dogs. Usually, she hikes with three or four at a time. "It's not only really healthy for their bodies but for their minds—they need to run free."
And run free they do. And swim. And search for sticks. They usually go to Ramapo Lake in New Jersey.
The trip is run by NYC Doggies, which counts about 30 four-legged clients among their hiking regulars.
"[The owners] want to know when they're at work all day, the dog isn't sitting home bored all day," Marshall said. "It's out here in—living it's best life."
The dogs are out hiking for a minimum of three hours on each trip and fall fast asleep on the ride back to the city.
"On the way up they never stop talking—they're trying to jump out windows," Marshall said. "But on the way back you don't hear a sound."
Almost a decade ago, NYC Doggies was one of the first local companies to offer dog hikes. They charge between $85 and $130 per hike, a price dog owners like Sarah Riegert say is well worth it.
"It's great, they're out running around," Riegert said. "They're swimming they're playing with other dogs."
The dogs wear GPS trackers in case any stray from the pack. The human hikers clean them up and do a tick check before dropping them off at home.
Riegert, who just signed her dogs up for the hikes a month ago, said she can already see a difference.
"They're super happy," she said. "They're much happier than they were before."