Sunday in Prospect Park

Family, originally uploaded by joeytoofresh.

One thing I’ve noticed this summer is that I’ve been more active. I don’t think I’d be this active without Milo. These days walking from Joe’s place in Flatbush to his mom’s in Park Slope, a 4 mile roundtrip jaunt, isn’t too daunting. It helps that we go through Prospect Park and its beautiful scenery along the way. The walking has paid off and I feel like I’ve toned up a bit more and kept off most of the weight from the South Beach Diet (hey, I like my summertime ribs!).  Today as part of our goal to keep active, Milo, Joe and I went to the dog beach.  It was a great day post-Hannah and everybody in BK was taking advantage of it by going to Prospect Park.

For the blog readers who are not familiar w/ the park, Prospect Park is Central Park’s slightly younger sister designed by the same architects – Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. Some say that Prospect was the pair’s masterpiece because they were able to incorporate more nature into the park compared to other city parks they designed, including Central Park. If you ever get a chance to visit Prospect Park, particularly the trails, you’d never think you were just moments away from bustling Flatbush Avenue.  It’s one of my favorite places in the city and of course, Milo is in tow.

Rick Rossin’ it at the Dog Run

For those unfamiliar w/ RIck Ross and his *revelation* read this first.

A few days ago I take Milo to the dog run at Von King Park about 4 blocks away from my neighborhood. Milo and I are ‘regulars’ at the run whenever he’s at my house and we’re friendly with quite a few of the dogs and their humans there. It’s typically a peaceful place for the dogs to meet n’ greet. To me the run serves is a great effort by old and new residents of the ‘Stuy to make the park a little more fun and safe for the community and our pets. We fought hard for the run to exist and got it. Not even Fort Greene or Clinton Hill aka the more gentrified ‘hoods have a run.

Sometimes, though, and I mean SOMEtimes there are still remnants of the big, bad Do or Die even at the dog run.

I was there this past Wednesday evening and Milo had been happily running around playing chase when I hear a scuffle between two dogs. I was sitting on a far bench so I didn’t see what exactly happened. Scuffles are nothing new and are usually settled quickly. Then I hear the kids on the sidewalk talking – “Oooh! That man had a gun! They should go fight the dogs and earn a bit of money!” *record skips* And this is where I look into the camera like Ferris – “WTF!?” I grab Milo as the owner of this very nice and big, St. Bernard/Lab mix named Lily, grabs her and jets. Dogs sense when the energy is off and Milo starts to feed into it to play the mediator which could lead to him getting hurt, so I said “OK! Time to jet!” and left swiftly.

The following day I go to the run and these two sweet Am-Staff terriers start begging for my water jug. I give them and the other dogs water and as soon as I step off the bench the female AmStaff bites the top off my jug and goes at it. I laugh and as I go to pet her, I notice she’s underfed. Rib cage jutting out, scars on her lips indicating that she’s been fighting, etc. *Insert another WTF!* moment here. The other owners casually say to the AmStaff owners to water their dogs as they see her knock over the jug and go at it. I look over to the owners and just notice something was a little off. They weren’t too concerned about their dogs getting overly playful or rough. In fact they were laughing when another dog would check their dogs.

Fastforward to yesterday I am at the dog run Friday morning and Milo is happily playing with this Chow mix named Daisy and another puppy a little younger than him named Duke. Daisy’s owner asks me if I heard of the guy w/ a gun. And I explained to him that I didn’t stay long to actually see the gun, but heard the kids mention it. We talk about how inappropriate that is, etc. and how Coby’s owner (dog who got gun pointed at him) should file a complaint. Turns out dude w/ gun is a CO so he is licensed to carry a live piece. However, HOWEVER, this does not give you license to point it at a dog EVER. Nothing ever justifies that. Rick Rossin’ it at the dog run. People are insane. I also ask if they noticed the two Am Staffs who are underfed (Daisy was there too) and explained to them that I noticed the dogs were really skinny, scarred (yes SCARS) and malnourished when I gave them water.

It saddens me to this day that people treat their pets like trash that can be thrown out and easily replaced. It is even more alarming that anybody would point a gun at a dog and think that’s kosher. I was tempted to call 311 or the ASPCA on the owners of the AmStaffs but I don’t know where they live.

I will continue to take Milo to the run because it makes him happy and gives him a lot of exercise he needs, but will definitely be more careful and observant of which dogs are there.

On a nicer day...

On a nicer day...

In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been…

Hello Milo!, originally uploaded by vettie vette.

This is Milo. He is an 8 month old pitt, bassett hound, and dachshund mix. We (sis, roomie Mehdi, and Joe) saw him up for adoption at PetCo through Earth Angels NYC. It is the same group that rescued my landlord’s dog, Dooley. As you can probably tell – we didn’t get a Yorkie from Joe’s sister. The yorkie pup has a rare medical condition and it is only right she stays in Texas where she can get the proper care through their vet.

Instead, this silly boy found us.

He is a sweetie pie w/ major separation issues (dug up 3 carpets in 3 rooms already) so we have him on a strict crating schedule. He is crated ’til about 3 or 4. My landlord brings him downstairs to hang w/ everybody else (3 other dogs – Dooley, Cayman, and Ularoo) until she leaves for work and crates him upstairs again. I’m usually home by 5 Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Around 7 Tuesdays. And Joe gets him Friday nights when I’m at my outpatient clinic job. Furthermore, he is walked early in the morning everyday before I leave for work and Joe walks him Monday-wednesday before he leaves. Thursdays and Fridays he gets to hang w/ my sister who works out of the house and she crates him for a few hours so his schedule remains consistent. We crate even on weekends at Joe’s to keep up the consistency, especially when we need to run errands and he can’t come with us all the time.

We’ve only had him for a week and a half and we just started him on this schedule this week after discovering he truly cannot be free to roam about the house because he hurts himself from digging at the door when we are gone. Thank God he doesn’t destroy anything else.

Oh and he taught his mommy and daddy that he needs interesting and challenging toys to build up his confidence/prey drive. My housemate, and resident dog whisperer, Deveren, taught me to make toys more interesting by freezing yogurt and treats in hollowed bones and a large jack shaped plastic thingy. I am also stuffing a kong ball w/ scoopy snacks. We play a lot of ‘find it’ games (hiding toys/treats for him to hunt), sit/stay/down games, and the good ol’ fetch. This will hopefully keep him fixated on getting something good rather than worrying about being alone and hurting his paws from trying to dig his way to freedom.