dog parks

Figaro, the true companion (part 1)

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“I’ve had dogs since I was 4 years old and I am 88 years old.

For me, it’s companionship an it makes me walk.

It’s a necessity for me to exercise.  I take a long walk in the morning and a long walk in the evening.

I find that having a dog is very relaxing.

They give you unfettered love.

All you have to do is feed, walk and pet them and they are happy.

The retriever only wants to please.

They obey everything you ask them to do without a question.

I have had between 15 an 20 Golden Retrievers.”

Batman, the fated dog (part 1)

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“I had a dog who got run over by a car and I was devastated about it.

I just thought the best way to get over that loss was to get another dog.

I looked at an online rescue agency called Mustard Sandwich and I saw Batman’s photo.

I wanted to get a dog and name him Batman.

Batman and his brothers were listed online and they were all named after cities except for Batman, who was already called “Batman.”

I thought; this is my fate.

I also thought, this is MY Batman.

I applied for him online.

I was moving from New York to Florida and picked him up on the drive down.

When I first saw him, he was only 2 pounds, his ears were all floppy and he was the cutest thing.”

Rooney, the best mistake my husband ever made (he said)

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“My wife talked me into getting Rooney.

I also love dogs.  I grew up with dogs.

It’s been wonderful having a dog, (except for his snoring like a freight train).

I always have a little buddy around.

My wife was out of town last weekend and it was comforting to know that someone was around.

The house is never empty when Rooney is there.

One of the benefits of having a dog is the amount of social doors that have opened.

We’ve made a lot of quality friends at the dog run and local park.  Rooney is friendly with many of the dogs that go to the park and run, and we are friendly with their owners, (our dogs all get along and so do we).

We also help each other out.  We watch each other’s dogs.  When one of us is busy or out of town we try to help each other out and walk the other’s dogs. We are part of a tight knit community.

During the bad weather we try to arrange play dates at each other’s apartments so they get exercise and a chance to play.  It’s also an excuse for us to socialize.

During the blizzard of 2016, the dog park friends got together and had a blizzard party, without our dogs.

When he broke his paw, it was tough for us because we had to carry a 35 pound dog up and down the two flights of our apartment.  Poor Rooney couldn’t play, see his friends or exercise and work out his energy for 10 days.

But the hardest time with Rooney was when he was a puppy and scratched his cornea.  We had to give him drops and it basically tested our marriage.  One of us had to hold his head and keep his eye open and the other put in the drops.  It would take us between 20 and 30 minutes to get the drops successfully in his eye. We would blame each other for not holding his head still enough. It was difficult to hold Rooney’s head without him squirming and flailing around.

One of the best things about having Rooney is that we get outside a lot more.

We go to the park on the weekends for off leash time before 9 a.m.  We walk to all the local parks and explore the city.  I see parts of my neighborhood I might never have noticed.”

 

 

 

Luna, the rescue from Bide-A-Wee

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“I had a dog growing up and he was a similar looking dog to Luna–a Shepherd mix.

She’s a rescue from Bide-a-Wee on the east side.  I actually met her sister first, but she was less engaged.  Luna was sweeter, more playful and seemed to connect with people, and that’s what mattered to me.

I visited her several times before making the decision to take her home.  I brought my mother with me on the final visit and she loved her just the same as I did.

I work for myself now, so I have time during the day to spend with her.

We take cabs to different dog parks during the day on weekdays and weekends.  Her favorite dog park is Washington Square Dog Run.  She has made a lot of friends there.

I’ve only had Luna for a month, but she’s very sweet in the house.  She’s very affectionate.  She wants to be near me all the time.  She’s a puppy, so house training is challenging, especially because she spent four months peeing inside every day at a shelter.

I travel a lot for work, so when I’ve boarded her that breaks our routine. It’s not like starting over, but her housebreaking becomes inconsistent.

I think having her is a positive energy to have around.  I am a filmmaker and I spend a lot of time on my own doing research, writing and editing.  Luna is a great companion.

What makes her unique is her level of engaging with people.  She is all about making contact, whether it is with human or dog.”

 

Laura, the dog lover without a dog (part 2)

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“I had friends that I met at the dog run.  their dog and I were in love with each other.  They had a wonderful dog, tchotchke.  If she liked you it was a love fest every time you saw her.

Then when she got old and sick it was very sad.

A couple of days before she died she was in the dog run and you could watch her go up to each of her people friends, as if to say goodbye.

She was an articulate dog.  She didn’t like puppies and small dogs bothering her.  She had a very polite but firm way of letting them know to leave her alone. She would lie on the ground, turn her head toward them and let out a low growl of warning.

The best was meeting, getting to know and spending time with such loving people and their dog.

The worst was when their dog died, followed by their leaving New York.

We still keep in touch.

I still come to the dog run in good weather a few times a week.

I have some physical disability with my arms and the dog run is a good place for me to come for some gentle exercise and amusement.

One of the great things about the dog run is that you see people you meet in the dog run on the street, and develop a relationship outside the dog run.

There is a real community at the dog run that overflows in the neighborhood.

Laura, the dog lover without a dog (part 1)

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“The very first time I came to the dog run was after my neighbors moved.  I got curious to see this place called the dog run where they used to take their dog.

The dogs and the people were wonderful.  I’ve made a lot of very good friends here.

I’ve watched the Dog Whisperer on television and I like to try out his techniques.                   I’ll give you an example: When I see children trying to get their dog to chase the ball and they don’t get the dog’s full attention first (they just throw the ball), I tell them, first make sure the dog is paying to them and and if they show the dog the ball and the dog sees them throw it, this is the best way to start the game.

I wouldn’t say that to just anybody.  It’s to the children who seem open to my advice.  They really want to play with the dogs but they don’t know how.  I try to show them how to get on the same wavelength as the dog.

Another thing that is so gratifying is to keep up with friends from the dog run while they are away.  I like to keep them updated on their dogs play and experiences at the run and put their minds at ease.

Once I was trying to pass by a small dog and it jumped up at me, lunging towards my face, and I fell and broke my arm.

This is one of the reasons I urge people to dissuade their dogs from jumping on people.”

Laura, as in Laura Dern (part 1)

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“We were going to get a kitten, but the animal rescue group said we would have to take two so they would have company and learn to socialize.

We were also looking for dogs because we weren’t sure what we wanted.

We looked at forty pages of puppies on Petfinder.

Laura was just so cute. She had ten siblings that were all very cute. Her photo was the weirdest of them all.   She had big eyes and her face looked squished.  They all had the same face, but different markings.  Some were spotted and others were just one color.

We fell in love with what looked like eyeliner around her eyes.  It looked like she had raccoon eyes when she was a puppy.

Social Tee’s is the rescue group we limited our search to.

They were having two event on opposite sides of the city on the same day.

The dogs were at the uptown Petco and the cats were at the downtown Petco.

I am more of a dog person, but my boyfriend wasn’t as sure. His experience was just with cats.

I had been putting for a dog and it seemed like more fun to see the puppies, because they are more interactive.

Once we saw the litter, the others were sleepy and dopey, but Laura was alert and climbing over the others.  She seemed the healthiest.

She pee’d on my boyfriend as soon as he picked her up and we decided that was a sign that she was meant to be ours.

They also told us she wouldn’t be more than 35 pounds and she’s 80 pounds. They told us she was a beagle, border collie, lab mix.   They forgot to tell us about the Great Dane, Ridgeback and Hound.”

Rooney, the best mistake my husband ever made

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“I’ve always wanted a dog but my husband said it was a lot of responsibility.

One night he came home a little tipsy and he had been talking to a friend who had just gotten a dog.

He suggested we get one, too.

I said, “I know you had a few drinks but I am going to hold you to this in the morning.”  He said, “fine.”

I reminded him in the morning, and he shook it off.

I held him to his word, and he said, it was the best mistake he ever made.”