We visited Muttontown Preserve on Long Island today, and asked a staff member who was showing us around whether they had a problem with unleashed dogs. He turned serious. Well, he said, the preserve doesn't allow dogs at all, leashed or unleashed, because they damage the vegetation and the wildlife, and also because there are horses in the preserve and the dogs might spook them. But on occasion he does see unleashed dogs, and when he does he just asks the owner politely--this staff member is pretty inoffensive--to leash the dog (even though the dog isn't allowed in the first place). Sometimes the owner says "oh, I forgot", and leashes the dog. Most of the time--his words--though, the owner becomes abusive and curses him. Sound familiar? So this is the M.O. of those who run their dogs in the parks.
* * * * *
Yesterday in Prospect Park around 4 P.M., a black Baptist organization was having picnic on the Nethermead. There were no unleashed dogs there. But we ran across four others, one on the fringes of the Nethermead and the rest near the lake and pools.