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In Praise of Dog Owners

March 5, 2010

Edited to Add: PETS page is up and running. Send pictures of your pets to fk94131 at yahoo.com if you want them there. (Permission to publish will be assumed if you send pictures.)

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I don’t have a dog.

Nevertheless, I think that a neighborhood is richer for having dog-owners in its midst. Specifically, Forest Knolls is richer for being a dog-friendly neighborhood.

If it weren’t for dog-walkers, there’d be very few people out and about. People have busy lives, and go elsewhere for exercise. Our homes are built with garages at street level, and gardens in the back: Great for privacy, not so good for community.

It’s the dog-owners who are out there. Many of them know each other, or at least know each other by their dogs. They care about each other and each other’s pets.

That’s the kind of thing that builds community.

There’s the charm of the dogs themselves. Big ones, little ones, pure-bred or mutts, they’re a friendly tail-wagging presence and give life to our neighborhood.

I asked a few dog-owners I met around Forest Knolls to let me take pictures of their dogs. They were willing; so far, no one has said no. The dogs, too, were mostly willing – except when they were trying to get close enough to lick my face.

Shouldn't happen

(Only one request, dog-owners – please clean up after your doggies. I know nearly everyone does nearly all the time…)

They are also an obvious presence in our neighborhood; they see what’s going on. Night or day, rain or shine, the dogs need walks, and their people take them. Paws on the street means eyes on the street.

It keeps us all a little bit safer.

Rain or shine...

Some years ago, someone I know lived in a restored brownstone in Brooklyn. They had two large dogs, which occasionally barked. The neighbors grumbled, as some neighbors will.  After five years, the apartment was too small, and the dogs and their folks moved out.

Two weeks later, the building was broken into. And then a week after that, it was broken into again.

“Too bad you guys moved out,” the formerly grumbling former neighbor said. “Seems like your dogs were a deterrent.”

Probably true.

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I’m thinking of starting a Pets page on this website, if people are interested and would like to contribute. Just pictures of our cats and dogs and birds and whatever other animals are in peoples’ lives. Leave a comment if you think it’s a good idea.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Bonnie Schindhelm permalink
    March 5, 2010 10:51 pm

    Good idea. Your whole website is very nice. Thanks. I especially like those last two black and white gems (lol).

  2. John Furman permalink
    March 6, 2010 4:38 am

    really nice tribute. And nails one of the things that make me grateful to live in this little oasis. But I have to disagree with Ms. Schindhelm; those last two are, unfortunately, only the second and third most wonderful black and white dogs in Forest Knolls.

  3. beverly permalink
    March 6, 2010 5:04 am

    fantastic idea….so just in case a pet goes missing we will know what to look for. Thank you and as Bonnie mentioned your website is great.

  4. webmaster permalink*
    March 6, 2010 6:28 am

    Thanks, everyone. I’ve started one with the pictures from this post…

  5. Bonnie Schindhelm permalink
    March 6, 2010 4:31 pm

    Mr. Furman is in deep denial about the order of best looking dogs, but I will let him have this one to keep the peace. Can’t wait to see more pictures of all types of creatures. And in response to your poo pic, any of us who owns dogs should pick up any dog droppings we come across even if it’s from some other dog.

Trackbacks

  1. The Stairways of Forest Knolls « FOREST KNOLLS
  2. Night Walk with Fog and Dog « FOREST KNOLLS

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