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City Dog: Manhattan Pawffice does doggie daycare right

BY LYNN PACIFICO | In the city, dogs live indoors with us and become family. For many of us, dogs are our children. It is estimated that more than 25 percent of New Yorkers have dogs. Our canine kids are precious to us, so we do all we can to keep them safe, healthy and happy.

With the increasing number of dog owners and canine citizens in our ever-growing Villages, new businesses are opening to serve them. Considering how many dogs are lost every day in this city, we need to carefully vet those to whom we give the responsibility to care for our dogs, especially if it is being walked, or is tiny, scared/shy/skittish or needing medication.

Cooper gazes at his owner, Johan: Feel the love. (Photo by Lynn Pacifico)

Brooklyn Pawffice, a doggie daycare in business for three years, has recently opened Manhattan Pawffice on the ground floor of 20 St. Marks Place, between Second and Third Avenues, in the East Village. I asked owner Alex Romero a few questions about the service they provide:

Activities: “Most of the dogs really enjoy socializing and running around with one another,” he told me. “They play hard until 11, then take a nap. They play, then nap a lot and are tired when they go home.”

Safety: “We do temperament tests and constantly monitor the behavior of the dogs in our care,” he explained. “We take great pride in knowing the dogs, and they listen pretty well. We are fortunate to have a large backyard where the dogs can get fresh air and go to the bathroom, so walks aren’t necessary. There is always someone here 24/7, as we provide overnight service and we live-stream constantly.”

Separation anxiety / shy dogs: “Our dogs really love being here and when an anxious dog joins, we comfort them and try to help them assimilate,” Alex said. “The other dogs also help. Often, an anxious dog will realize this is a place of joy and becomes comfortable. We see this happen all the time.”

A backyard break with Alex. (Photo by Lynn Pacifico)

“Alert! Alert! Intruder!” I visited Pawffice and was impressed by the two bolted gates and two doors I needed to negotiate to get inside. There was a cacophony of barking as I entered. Many dogs are working breeds or a mix of them, so alerting is “work” for them and they love it.

Alex said that he is going to put up soundproofing since these dogs take much pleasure in their alerting work. It is a pack activity, as they have become a family. I also witnessed a lot of play-wrestling. Even white-faced Huckleberry, who is 10 years old, was enthusiastically tussling.

A tired, happy dog at the end of the day is a big plus for working dog owners, since after work they don’t need to provide their dog with an outing long enough and stimulating enough to get them tired. Instead they can relax, sit in the park on the way home from the Pawffice or play a few indoor games or do short obedience drills and then eat, watch TV and snuggle.

Alex and Penny. (Photo by Lynn Pacifico)

The manager, Johan, works at Pawffice weekdays, and brings his dog Cooper. Johan is quiet and calm and so is Cooper, who impressed me. A well-behaved, loving, calm and well-trained dog illustrates that the owner has knowledge and talent as a dog handler, having earned the dog’s love, trust and respect. This speaks volumes about a person’s character.

The dogs clearly love and are comfortable with both Johan and Alex. From what I learned, Pawffice is a professional, clean, trustworthy and fun addition to the neighborhood.

Manhattan Pawffice hosted an adoption event for Waldo’s Rescue Pen on Sun., March 3, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Visit to see pets up for adoption. You are welcome to donate dog supplies you no longer need to Waldo’s Rescue, such as crates, puppy pens, carriers, leashes, etc., since these help dog foster families. Fostering saves lives.

For more information, visit

Pacifico is a fourth-generation Villager who loves dogs, nature and New York City.

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