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