Friday, August 1, 2008

Bathing Beauties

Some inconsiderate, oblivious woman decided her dogs just had to bathe in a sprinkler in a children’s playground because they’re big and get hot. She complains that a horrified mother demanded that they get out.

As one of the comments noted, dogs are not allowed in children’s playgrounds by order of the NYC Parks Dept: “No dogs allowed: Dogs are not permitted in these areas at any time. These areas include playgrounds, zoos, swimming pools/facilities, bathing areas/beaches, fountains, ballfields, or on basketball/handball/tennis courts.”

Someone else ought to tell her—just as someone should have told those who demanded off-leash privileges to exercise their big dogs—that if she can’t deal with her animals without bothering other people, she shouldn’t keep them. Nothing entitles her to keep big dog in the city. It’s not fair to the dogs and it’s not fair to anyone else. You want a big dog, get a farm.

And in one of the other comments, Bob Marino, president of the New York Council of Dog Owners Groups, an off-leash advocacy organization, pontificates:

Finally, please remember that if dog owners violate rules, those who oppose off-leash or hate dogs are empowered. Many of those people are petty, spiteful individuals who spend inordinate hours attacking city dog owners by spreading their lies, distortions, and propaganda. They have already picked-up on this question and have posted it in numerous locations as “evidence” of the selfishness of dog owners.

We suppose that these "lies, distortions, and propaganda" include our postings about all of the dogs that are illegally unleashed. Bob, if you really care about this, why not get your buddies at PEP to ticket these many individuals--or are they your prime supporters? And while we maintain that the existence of off-leash is sufficient evidence of selfishness of some dog owners (as well as far darker things), the numerous--they're everywhere you look--off-leash scofflaws who are not satisfied with their generous off-leash privileges and insist on inflicting themselves on everyone else illegally as well as legally is simply more evidence of it.

Meanwhile on the Brooklynian Park Slope forum, a female (apparently) dog owner was complaining that her dog—and her friends’ dogs; just how many were there? — were menaced by a couple of pit bulls while they were bathing in the fountains at the Vale of Cashmere:

I experienced this guy yesterday morning. A few of us went to the Vail [sic] area to let our dogs jump in the clean water and he yelled at us about how dogs are supposed to be in Long Meadow not over there.

Our correspondent pointed out:

Why was she letting her mutt play in the water at the Vale fountain in the first place? Her excuse was that Dog Beach is "too dirty" for her precious canine snowflake! "Too dirty.."??? I mean honestly lady's a dog!! Get over yourself! Meanwhile, the birds have nowhere left in Prospect Park to call their own. It's ridiculous!

Thank you Datnioides for the tip. Read the entire discussion. Only one person pointed out that all of the owners deserve tickets, the pit bull owner for having his dogs off-leash in a non-off-leash area and the others for letting their dogs in the fountain. One person even had the nerve to cite the rule that "Dogs should not be off-leash during off-leash hours if they are not responsive to voice command." But this is Park Slope, where laws seem to apply to everyone else.


Anonymous said...

This woman was wrong period.

But the comment here that big dogs do not belong in the city is also wrong. Period.

Big dogs do great in the city.

Melissa said...

Convenient editing. The woman who posted was told of the regulations in the fountains and she was actually thankful for the information. So, someone who learned a lesson today deserves to be vilified here?

I have a big dog in Brooklyn and he has a wonderful life. He was a shelter dog who now has plenty of space and exercise. I couldn't disagree with you more that big dogs shouldn't be in the city.

credo-ny said...

We may have missed it but saw nothing in the forum that the woman was thankful for being told that about the regulations. But it doesn't matter: there are just some things that a a dog owner ought to be restrained from doing by simply sense of decency, even if the owner can't think immediately of a specific law. Letting dogs bathe in public decorative fountains is one of them.

We have no quarrel with those who keep big dogs in the city and have a backyard or can otherwise provide what the dog needs without imposing on everyone else.

noisejoke said...

I too would find the woman's behavior strange. Whether her response to being informed was polite or not is superfluous.

However, I'm tired of the remarks of those with little knowledge of dogs to bemoan the ownership of those canines vaguely deemed "large".

"Big" dogs have no need or understanding of houses vs apartments or backyards vs parks. If I lived in a mansion as opposed to a small 2BR apartment my dogs would have no more permission to run or rampage than they do now. And no they do no such thing. If I had a backyard, they would still require my interaction, encouragement and leadership in order to relieve themselves normally, exercise and yes, even have fun.

Large dogs are not elephants. If they can fit through the door and find a place to lay down they will be content. The rest is up to the owner.

Datnioides said...

The problem is that many people feel that their large dogs "need" or "deserve" access to scarce public green space so they can run off leash. They expect society to provide these amenities at a cost to everyone else.

Owning a large breed dog in the city is a choice. It may be a great choice for someone who is prepared to hand walk that animal on leash for several miles a day. Both owner and dog can benefit in that case. However, it may not be such a great choice if others have to give up their quiet morning walks in the park so your mutt can have that space to play and run loose. People > dogs, always.