You will first see it out of the corner of your eye, when the woman in shades awkwardly points her camera in your direction. She thinks that she is not sneaky. As you walk down the street, you will catch the gentle awws. Soon, people will ask you questions or take pictures.

There is a dog on your back. It is amazing. I am always happy when other people acknowledge my dog, Tobu, even though I don't like talking with strangers.

I have been carrying my dog around New York City and even in Atlanta, Georgia, with the Little Chonk's Maxine One dog backpack. I don't understand why I need to put my dog in a bag. Dogs need to be in one when using public transportation in most major cities. There are good reasons to strap your dog on your back instead of using a tote bag made for dogs, and I think there is still room for such a thing.

A pack dog.

Photograph: Julian Chokkattu

I use the small size of the One S with Tobu. You can find the measurements on Little Chonk's website, which also suggests which breeds fit in each bag. Tobu is 17 pounds and the One S fits him well with some room to spare. The bag was designed around a corgi named Maxine, who is 25 pounds and sits in the standard Maxine One. The company is working on designs for dogs under 15 pounds and dogs over 40 pounds.

For the past six years, Bryan has been carrying Maxine in various backpacks. His videos showing his corgi dozing off behind him or sniffing anyone nearby helped catapult him to fame. I had a chance to meet her, and she is cuter than ever. He built his own bags because he was never really satisfied with the ones he used. He created a team with a veterinary medical board to make sure the dogs were well supported and comfortable in the Maxine One.

There are a few things to know before you buy. If your dog has a preexisting medical condition, you should consult your vet before using this backpack, you're putting them in a vertical position for a small amount of time, after all. Little Chonk doesn't recommend keeping your dog in the bag for more than 50 minutes at a time, it's geared toward short train commute and brief walks in between. Carrying a 35-pound dog on your back for a long period of time is not easy.

Photograph: Julian Chokkattu