These two sweethearts were running their dog off leash today at noon through the Lullwater woods south of the rustic arbor. When asked if they knew that dogs were required to be on leash at all times in the wooded areas they replied that they did and then proceeded to continue on their way without even breaking stride. I imagine their response would have been different if they were asked the same question by a police officer. An additional note - today is the first day of real spring migration - more wildlife to terrorize.
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Nothing has changed in Prospect Park. Early mornings mean unleashed dogs throughout all the wooded areas. A sign that had been installed by the parks department at the northern entrance to the Ravine, "No Dogs Off-Leash, Keep Dogs on Path",was ripped down by Sunday morning.
On Saturday, between 8:05am and 8:45am, I encountered no fewer than 20 unleashed dogs in the Peninsula woods or by the Lullwater. 7 dogs were swimming in the lake or the Lullwater. The couple in this first video quickly leashed their dogs when they saw my camera. The woman screamed obscenities and other choice comments at me across the Peninsula's woodlands. I said nothing to her or the male with her.
After several minutes the guy came back to where I was standing with two friends and began taking photos of me with his iPhone. Here is the video of him taking my picture separate from this email. I refused to engage in any discussion with him but my friend Mike spoke briefly. Note that Mike's dog was with us the whole morning (and leashed). If you can't hear the audio, here is a transcript of the exchange:
Dog owner: What is your deal dude?
Me: I have no deal.
Dog owner: What is your deal? Are you upset about the dogs on the trails? Or is he like...?
Mike: Well, they are off the leash where their not supposed to be. It's the rule of the park.
Dog owner: No, I understand, but does this guy not like dogs?
Mike: No! I have a dog, we've been walking around together!
Dog owner: But like what is the deal? So is he some like psychopath or something? Like it seems like a lot of investment in something that seems trivial.
Draw you own conclusions about this man's intelligence.
Here is a Lullwater video.
In the final video, an unleashed dog at the Vale of Cashmere (53 minutes after off-leash hours) jumped into the pond to chase some birds.
It was just after 9am on Saturday when I walked out of the Lullwater towards the Lullwater Bridge. I had just encountered 8 unleashed dogs along the way and I noticed two female PEP officers heading towards the bridge. I stopped them to complain about all the off-leash dogs in the Peninsula woods, the Lullwater and pretty much anywhere the owners decided to unleash their pets. I asked them if they ever patrol the park prior to 9am. They said, "Not usually." I also asked them if they ever patrol the woods, where all the unleashed dogs were. They replied, "No, they aren't allowed to because the woods are too dangerous and they don't carry weapons." They also told me that a female PEP officer was recently raped in a Brooklyn park. I asked which park and they though it was something like "Tompkins Park." I said that there isn't a Tompkins Park in Brooklyn. While they had on PEP uniforms with PEP insignia on the lapels, my impression was that these women were just given a uniform and told to walk around and look official, but that they were not actually PEP officers.
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Mayor Bloomberg wants to take over Brooklyn Bridge Park from New York State. No wonder. The lawn there is now for passive recreation--for people, not dogs. Guess what will happen when the City owns it.