The latest fashion fad is to own a live dog small enough to fit into a handbag and to travel to bars, restaurants and boutiques with its mistress.
The trend has sprung up following red carpet celebrities who are always pictured carrying their pooches in their handbags.
'I think of them as a handbag with a heartbeat,' Robin Bowden, real estate executive said.
The Manhattan office where Bowden is a vice president is the daytime home of several lap or sleeve dogs.
Sleeve dogs got their name in the Middle Ages because they were small enough to be hidden in the voluminous sleeves of the time. Popular breeds now include Yorkshire terriers, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, French bulldogs and papillons.
Many of the New York dogs live pampered lives that include designer coats and Sunday brunch at restaurants, in defiance of health ordinances.