I didn't notice previously... On the way to Calle Alcala is a dog clinic. With all the dogs I've seen in Madrid, one would have to expect to see several if you were looking. ANYWAYS... my new Spanish motto is "Look up!". Everywhere you go, looking up, there will be something interesting to see.
Today, I used the Metro to get to the Palacio Real. Although it's definately walkable, I thought I'd save some energy for walking around the castle. When I got out at the Opera staion, I walked a few blocks and through Plaza Oriente, a gorgeous garden, to arrive beside the palace.