Although he’s a male and he lifts his leg, Charley has the useful ability to pee once and be done, rather than feel compelled to wander the neighborhood marking all the tree stumps. Our trainer told us we got him to operate in this manner by encouraging the behavior. We just think he’s a good dog and leave it at that.

Tonight was a quick pee walk, where I am outside for all of 45 seconds while the dog does a three-quarter turn on the grate in front of the building, goes, and heads back home. Our neighbor and fellow dog owner was in the lobby, and often-shy Charley pulled me to her to say hello. I had him roll over—his latest trick—while Shiela grilled me about his habits and invited us to visit and have him play with her two Yorkies.

I went out without a jacket. A Fresh Direct truck was double-parked in the street. Shiela and a friend made themselves comfortable in lobby chairs. The rain was gone, and only the easy spring evening remained. Upstairs, business school homework awaited. I took my time getting upstairs.