NYC Off-leash Blog

A Blog to Discuss Dog Offleash Recreation in NYC. Sponsored by NYCDOG: New York Council of Dog Owner Groups

Call for Offleash Stories and Photos

Posted by nycoffleash on August 24, 2006

The website is seeking brief stories about your offleash experiences in NYC Parks. It’s a good opportunity to tell the world why you treasure the Offleash Hours and how the offleash policy enriches your life, your neighborhood, and the entire City.

Post your stories here on this blog. Try to keep it around 6 paragraphs max. Add photos if you have them!

6 Responses to “Call for Offleash Stories and Photos”

  1. Jane Landis said

    There is a wonderful community of dogs and their owners who come out every morning in Prospect Park Brooklyn. I never feel threatened by either people or dogs thanks to the self policing that responsible dog owners provide. People come out with babies and toddlers as well as their canine charges. I have never in my 8 years of pet ownership seen a dog act aggressively toward any human being. The occasional “dog to dog” tussle occurs but once the word is out that a dog may be aggressive toward other canines the owner faces ostracism which in turn causes the “offender’ to don a muzzle or to stay away.
    Thanks to off leash hours I feel comfortable using the park in the morning or the early evening. Human “predators” are of far more concern when the park is isolated. Dogs need to go out in rain or shine, cold or hot weather.There are always dog walkers out there and their presence makes me feel safer. The park is cleaner because most dog people here pick up after their pets. Again, there is plenty of social pressure to assure that people comply.
    Dogs are happier, healthier and friendlier when they get to roam free , run ,exercise and socialize. People come to Prospect Park from as far away as Massachusetts to enjoy the off leash privileges. To take this away will not stop the practice from occuring. I know this because I owned a dog 30 years ago when I lived in Manhattan. It was an awful time for everyone.We all constantly worried about being ticketed by the sanitation cops but we all took that risk because our pets needed to run.Most people want to respect the laws but when a law is so restrictive and impossible it causes even the most law abiding citizens to ignore the rules.

  2. czerny auyang said

    Six years ago, I found my dog Brandy who had been abandonned in Lehman College’s parking lot during a particular icy January. She was pregnant, terrified, and unsocialized. Three years ago, I found Gypsy who had been left tied to a Bronx lampost overnight. She was wearing a leather fighting vest and showed signs of abuse. Not only was she totally unsocialized, she was leash-aggressive–meaning that the leash frustrated her and made her act out inappropriately and it was impossible to walk her. Step by step, my husband and I worked with her until she is now a happy dog and can be around other dogs without the fear of being attacked. Neither of these dogs could have been properly socialized had there not been off-leash time in Prospect Park. They are healthier becaused they get to run–something that would be impossible if they were leashed. They have made friends with whom they get to romp and wrestle–something they couldn’t do leashed. They have learned how to approach many different people politely and freely–something they couldn’t do leashed. Not only a benifit to our dogs, the off-leash environment has created a community of like-minded people who have become friends beyond the park. We look out for each other’s dogs; we give a helping hand in other ways when needed; we’ve expanded our social circle so that our life in the city isn’t so isolated. People with leashed dogs not only do not socialize, they tend to give each other wide berth on the street because they are anxious that their dogs wouldn’t get along–and many times they don’t because they aren’t socialized the way nature intended. In my six years in Prospect Park and other city parks during off-leash time, I have only had positive experiences. This issue stirred up by the Juniper Park group is a tempest in a teacup. We have more pressing problems in New York City that need to be addressed without time, resources, and energy wasted so shamefully.

  3. Roberta Pliner said

    It’s 7:30 a.m. Never good in the early morning, I drag myself alongside my dog to Central Park, so she can have free exercise before off-leash hours end at 9 a.m.

    The weather is crisp and clear, and she is raring to go. We reach the west side of the Great Lawn, where she sees 20 or 30 of her friends. I slip the leash, and she streaks like lightning to her friends, bestows many happy kisses on them, and then runs around and around, just so happy to be alive.

    She is a beautiful thing when she runs–this coursing hound of
    mine–and everyone else stops to watch her.

    I catch up with the group of owners. We chat. We exchange
    war stories about our dogs’ latest escapades or the new veterinarian in the neighborhood or a new pet supply shop or the latest home remedy for hot spots. Sometimes, we talk about other matters–our work, our kids, our vacation or holiday plans.

    We promenade together around the Great Lawn. Some of us head for the Boathouse Cafe, which opens at 8 a.m. and lets us sit outside at picnic tables sharing breakfast with our dogs.

    On the way back, we stop to watch the ducks and swans in the Central Park Lake while our dogs race up and down Cherry Hill.

    Someone’s dog ”goes” an extra time. No more scoop bags. No
    problem–someone else always has an extra.

    We are for those early morning hours a community, even though
    the rest of the day, most of us live far enough apart that we
    seldom run into each other. We keep track of each other. We
    care about each other. We mourn together the loss of each
    old dog, and we rejoice in the arrival of each new puppy.

    Very often, the early morning community results in lasting
    friendships that transcend just having dogs in common and
    extend to other parts of our lives.

    Our dogs are very well exercised and socialized by those
    early morning off-leash hours. But it might be we, their owners, whose spirits and well-being are even more refreshed by
    the daily community in which we participate.

    Roberta Pliner

  4. Marian Cole said

    I like to walk early mornings in Prospect Park and I’m always glad to see the dogs off-leash. I have found the dog owners to be the most conscientious users of the park – picking up other peoples’ garbage, etc. – and I’ve seen many friendships bloom, both dog and human.

  5. Chris Sullivan said

    I adopted my dog about 4 years ago and the ability to have a dog run free (let in be before 9am or after 9pm) has always been a blessing. Though I pay a hirer rent and had to supply a 2 month deposit for having a dog, it is nothing in comparison to seeing the happiness in her face running free with her friends. Not to mention, protected a stranger from being mugged on night in the middle of the summer.

  6. Gregg G said did a great story this morning on the leashing issue. The reporter even brought her dog to a dog-run for the segment.
    Here is story:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: