Skip to main content

True Tales From Parks and Recreation - Dog Gang Running Wild


I've mentioned here on the DP a couple of times what I do for a living. For you new DP devotees, or those that have simply forgotten (shame on you!), currently I work for a park slowly in continuing development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handles anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. As part of my job, I am very much accessible to the public through the park's info e-mail line, or even a phone call a way. 

With that said, over the past two-plus years in this position, I have come to find that dealing with the public can be downright interesting at times. From e-mails, phone calls, or interaction when out in the public, yours truly has had some interesting interactions with the general public. So far, this job has taught me that people are simply crazy. Really, really, really, crazy!

With that said, the following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!

Welcome to a little snippet of Parks and Recreation.

As my first entry for this series, I want to share with you one of my favorite e-mails that I've received from the INFO inbox. If there is one thing I learned from working in parks and recreation is that some people take their dogs very seriously. Wayyyyyyyy too seriously! I'm not the biggest animal enthusiast, so my cynicism is that much more enhanced on hearing some of these complaints. 

For this e-mail, here is a little background information. Throughout the park we have several dog runs which provide a place for dog owners to bring their dogs to run around, play, and go unleashed for a bit. Basically the things normal dogs do that dogs in New York City really can't. Like any other amenity in our park, or pretty much any public park in America, you enter, use, and participate at your own risk. 

The following e-mail complaint flies in the face of that subtle rule:

The incident occurred approximately 12:30 PM. I entered the dog run with my dog, who is a 3 year old golden retriever. Present at the dog run were 3 gentlemen with the dogs. One was a pure bred bull terrier, another was a mix bull terrier and the third was mix pit bull. I've seen the pure bred bull terrier before and noticed it was a bit aggressive. I think I may have even said something to its owner, but I have to say, there are people who, when approached about their dog's aggressive behavior, take it as a personal affront and are very reticent to listen.

In any case, I entered the run and it seemed like all was ok, until one of the dog tried to get the ball out of my dogs mouth. My dog resisted, but not with any aggression. At this point (and it all happened so fast) the mix pit bull got a little more aggressive, but not to the point where there was serious problem. The problem occurred when the pure bred bull terrier and the mix bull terrier jumped (and  in trying to get the ball from my dog), attached him viciously. But I must say, it was the pure bred bull terrier who was  the most aggressive. He had my dog pinned down and was literally biting him everywhere. I jumped in and at this point the bull terrier had my dogs paw in his mouth. Honestly, he would ripped his paw off and killed the dog if its owner hadn't pulled him off at that very moment. During this struggle, the bull terrier also bit me on the hand. Luckily I was wearing gloves. However, when I removed my gloves I saw dog teeth marks on my hand, which is now black and blue. 
Sideblog: Must be one bad dog. It whooped another dog and it's owner! Somewhere that owner is like, "atta boy!"
This is one of the most frightening scenes I have ever witnessed. For one thing, this pure bred bull terrier, who is there almost every day at around 12 or 1 PM, should not be in the dog run. He didn't just attack my dog--he attacked me. 
Sideblog: Just have to hate those dogs that cut obedience classes and loiter at the same time and place looking for trouble.
I was able to leave the dog run with my dog, who was limping, bleeding and totally traumatized. I ended up having to take him to the vet, which cost me $255.00. The owner (in my opinion), was completely irresponsible. He made no gesture or offer of help in the event my dog should need medical attention, which he could clearly see, he would. What if there was a young child or baby in the run? These dogs were totally in the attack mode--especially the pure bred bull terrier. 
Sideblog: Now why would a baby be in the dog run? And this must be one of the dog gangs I've heard about terrorizing dog runs and parks all over the city.
I'd also like to mention that the dog run itself was not shoved. There was snow and ice everywhere, which made the situation that much more dangerous, because it took longer to get to the dogs when all this was occurring. I normally go to the ----. Which was shoveled and clean. Also, the people who go there are a lot more responsible for their dogs that the people who go to the  --- dog run.

In any case, I left the dog run shaken and my dog hurt and in total shock. I'd like to know what you intend to do about this. 
Not sure what she wanted us to do. Not even a detective could do anything with the crazy information included. All we know is there is Dog gang in Manhattan apparently lead by an irresponsible human. Great. She received the typical  "Thanks for your interest, unfortunately...yada...yada...yada.

Recently Read Posts

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/22/22

3 Up 1. NY Times Investigative Series on Haiti - The history of Haiti is such a complex (and unfortunate) one. Really, it's a story that goes untold, specifically for the context of how the country is viewed. From being forced to pay operations to enslavers (yeah, you read that right), to so many other historical setbacks - including American interventions - the nation's history is so well laid out in this latest NY Times piece. I urge you to give it a read.  2. Equal Pay for US Women's Soccer Team - Kudos to US Soccer on coming around to giving the USWNT their due - equal pay for prize money from the World Cup. It's a start, and more importantly, it's a push forward for women's sports that do in fact push the needle in comparison, or more so, to their male counterparts.  3. Kate McKinnon - Random "UP" here, but I'm doing it anyway...A few SNL usuals are rumored to be walking away, including Kate McKinnon. The show obviously doesn't carry the

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/15/22

3 Up 1. California Church Heroes - It's soooooooo weird that the top spot is a result of something so horrific as our ongoing domestic terrorism problem of mass shootings. Still, the courage shown by the five members who stopped the shooter deserves it. Those individuals tackled the shooter and tied him up with an electric cord, while wounded.  It's so tough to fathom that those possibilities are within the realm of your Sunday worship, within the sanctity of your church.  But such is America... 2. Olivia Rodrigo & Drake - Rodrigo continues to reap rewards on an excellent album in 2021 as she topped the Billboard Music Awards with seven awards. There was also Drake who I'm beginning to sense we won't really appreciate his body of work until he's near the end of his career. But yeah, Drake poured in a few more for the legacy debates and discussions.

Celebrating 37 with Gratitude

I sit here quite unsure how to celebrate a birthday this year - though, it's not something I've always done. I leave that to my wife and now, my son, to create that spectacle that I'm unable to drum up. However, I've always had some reflection on each year, and each new "age" or trip around the sun completed. Thirty-seven successful trips, and on this day, today, my birthday, I just can't seem to find the words that resonate with how I feel, or simply, to feel.  For starters, there is the idea that forever, my birthday, May 25th, will always be linked with the death of George Floyd. That's heavy enough. And then there is this year, just yesterday, the horrific events of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. That is the only thing really at the center of my thoughts, emotions, and concerns. It's challenging to pull myself out to be a focus under the current climate.  But if I tried to mesh the feelings of the current times as well as look inward,

Dome Pondering Movie Review: All the Bright Places

What is it about?  Two troubled teenagers meet and change each other's lives for the better - working through their past, and their demons, the two find meaning in the smallest and simplest of places.  Who is in it?  Elle Fanning - Violet Markey Justice Smith - Theodore Finch