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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dog Tales



The subject of dogs is a popular--and acrimonious--one in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. As yet this blog hasn't said much, if anything about dogs. Well, here goes....

Dogs can be wonderful pets. They can enliven a person's life and make it more meaningful, and provide emotionally proven benefits to the dog owner. That said, Tishman Speyer has mishandled the dog situation from the beginning. I'm not going to get into the debate of whether it was a mistake for Tishman Speyer to allow dogs as pet residents. Clearly the previous decades-long policy against dogs was there for a reason, and we are seeing the reason (actually, reasons) every day in the life of Stuy Town/Peter Cooper Village.

A day doesn't go by when I don't come across in even a short walk through Stuyvesant Town the residue deposits of someone's dog on the walkways, sometimes even right around the Oval walkway--and in some cases close by to the little guard booth that is occasionally manned by a guard. I wonder if the dog owners responsible for letting their pets do nature's calling on these walkways just don't know the rules (both the city's and Stuy Town's) or, if they do know them, if they just brush them off as so much bother. After all, they reason, they will pick up after their dog--so what's the problem? The problem is, of course, that residue is typically left over, which, being small, is even more of a threat for the pedestrian to step on, as it's not as visible as an unpicked load would be. Oh, and speaking of unpicked loads, those can be found around Stuy Town/PCV, too.

There are other problems.

Dog owners are trying to get a dog run in Stuy Town/PCV, and I say good luck but not in my neighborhood (ie, anywhere near my building). These owners are not to be faulted for this desire, as it's natural that a dog owner would like to have a dog run. I'd probably want one, too, if I owned a dog. But with a dog run will come a concentration of dog noise throughout the day and wafts of doggie smells to nearby residents who open their windows in the warmer months of the year. The instant response from certain owners to the noise issue is typically, "Well, kids make more noise," but even if that is true, that's no reason to double the noise quotient with a dog run. We should be working to lessen unnecessary noise in ST/PCV, not increase it. (For that reason, I'd love to see a ban of skateboarding here.)

In setting the rules for dogs in ST/PCV, Tishman Speyer developed an unrealistic set of expectations and policies. They set rules which are 1) easily broken, and 2) which they don't enforce. Dogs, for instance, are not allowed on any grass area, but it is impossible for a dog not to gravitate to that area and frequently take leak somewhere in that region. Sure a dog owner can insist that his/her dog not go on the grass, but that's rather hardcore, given the nature of a dog (or even a person).

As for leaks, well.... I see ST/PCV dogs taking many at the base of trees, which is never good for the health of tree. And, if you haven't noticed, we have a lot of trees in the complex. Do I fault the dog? No. I fault the owner. And even then, I'm beginning to cut the owner some slack, as it is Tishman Speyer's policies, both in allowing a dog presence in ST/PCV and in setting unrealistic rules, that are at fault here.

Dogs on long retractable leashes. Against the law. Dog owners are either unaware of this or they just flaunt their disregard for this law. I'm just waiting for the sob story when a speeding bicycle gets caught up in one of these extended (and almost invisible) leashes. Both bicyclist and dog will probably wind up in the hospital--the former in a human one and the latter in an animal one.

Barking dogs. Thank heavens that I don't live next to a neighbor that has one--though that can always change. This must be a particular kind of hell--as is living next to noisy human neighbors.

Dog hair in the washers. Yup, I've heard the complaints and I've come across this myself. You open up the washer to throw your clothes in, and there's a ring of brittle dog hairs along the rim of the washer. Please, dog owners, if you wash your dog stuff in the laundry room, have the courtesy to remove your dog's hairs after you are done.

Big dogs--two of them! Another frequent sight in ST/PCV. These dogs come from outside, one would think, as Tishman Speyer restricts the weight of the dogs one owner can have. I've yet to come across a security guard stop any outsider from walking their illegal-in-ST/PCV dogs around the complex.

"Love my dog as I love him/her." This is a frequent, presumptuous attitude on the part of dog owners. From this attitude arises the stance that one's dog can do anything it likes and whatever it does is fine and adorable. Okay, your dog is adorable and everything, but give non-dog owners the courtesy and the space to allow them the feeling that your dog is not the most wonderful creature in the world, human or otherwise. Perhaps the second most wonderful creature, but maybe not the first.

"Be afraid of my dog or he/she can eat you." This is a different kind of attitude. These dog owners scowl and their dogs scowl along with them. The message is: Be very afraid of me and my dog. Only owners with huge beasts, that nearly tip the scale of what's allowed in ST/PCV, have this attitude. These owners tend to hook up with similar owners of big dogs. I pity the people who have to get into elevators with these residents, though my sense is that most of these owners are coming into ST/PCV from outside the complex.

And when it is that Tishman Speyer contacts dog owners to remind them about dog policies in the complex? Things are not in control here. The rules are being violated daily, hourly. (Not just the rules concerning dogs, of course, but dogs are the subject of this blog post.) What is TS going to do about these violations? If you guess not much of anything, you are correct.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know full well that Tishman Speyer doesn't give a flying fuck about the quality of life in Stuyvesant Town and will NEVER enforce the rules concerning dogs and/or people. They brought the dogs in because they believed they would get more market rate tenants that way, not because they give a ff about the psychological welfare yadayadayada of the owners. Tishman Speyer bought property they couldn't afford and that they cannot continue to pay for and will probably be filing for bankruptcy in May or June. They couldn't care less if the hounds of hell were let loose in Stuyvesant Town, so let's not kid ourselves that they are EVER going to bother about whether or not dog owners obey the rules. They don't give a shit about skateboarders and speeding bicycles either, both of which are an obnoxious hazard to people walking through the grounds. As for people using the laundry rooms for washing their dogs' blankets, etc., well, those laundry rooms are filthy, scum-caked health hazards and if I had a dog (which I don't) I would think twice about washing its things in there in case it could something nasty! Unless and until we get rid of Tishman Speyer and get a new owner and a property management company that knows what it's doing and cares about the tenants and wants to make money the old fashioned way by earning it and keeping the customer happy, then nothing is going to change except for the worse.

Anonymous said...

So Anon. I guess you are not a fan of TS

Cute dog in picture

Anonymous said...

Quick! Someone call the Whaaaaaaaaaaaaambulance!

Its called having neighbors, not everything can always be perfect ... dogs and skateboards are the LEAST of stuy towns troubles

Anonymous said...

I am certainly not a fan of TS. In fact, I think that TS are worse than all the dogshit in the world x 50! If I stepped in dogshit I'd clean my shoe; if I stepped on Rob Speyer I'd burn my shoe and disinfect my foot.

Anonymous said...

Forget about a dog run. No way Tishman is going to do that, it's a liability nightmare.

If they build it, they'd have to police it. And that costs. And would leave them wide open to lawsuits should anyone or their dog gets injured in it.

It just ain't gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, a dog run is out of the question, I wouldn't worry about it.

There'd be a tsunami of complaints coming in from everyone that lives nearby... all day, every day.

Not to say Tish has never blundered before, but why would they want to expose themselves to such headaches and liability (seems they have enough of that already) just to appease a few militant dog lovers?

Anonymous said...

Which devoted dog owner allowed his or her dog to crap on the bocce court and couldn't be bothered to clean up after it? Yes, this really happened the weekend of April 4.

PCVxd said...

Thank you for your pontification on this subject. It clearly is a great help.

From your description of this situation one would expect to see piles of dog waste everywhere but you know what? I don't. Once in a great while I spy one. My opthamologist says I am OK. I was worried that something was wrong because I hadn't seen much around or stepped in any. I am probably not looking hard enough.

I have however seen every dog owner pick up after their dog. Disapointing because I can't wait for an opportunity to yell, HEY YOU PICK UP THAT DOGSHIT,YOU ASSHOLE!! Maybe you can do that for me next time. I have heard that the real offenders are the hired dog walkers and not the actual owners themselves.

Owners are trying to get a dog run because TS advertised dog friendly areas and of course reneged on that.

I have seen those long leashes and dogs on the grass -yes it's against the rules.

Recently there was a physical altercation between security and a dog walker. Maybe that would not have happened with a dog run available.

Did you know that there is a dog owner group or blog website? Maybe you should take this conversation over there. pcvstdog.com

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I think you missed the point of the top part of my post, PCVxd. Yes, dog owners here pick up after their dogs (by and large), but when a dog deposits on a walkway chances are good that there will be some residue left. Dogs are not supposed to be relieving themselves on walkways. As I wrote, a day doesn't go by when I do NOT spot dog residue on a walkway. And, trust me, I'm not looking for it. But I make it a point to be aware of what's on the ground in front of me because I hate cleaning up smelly dog do-do from the bottom of my shoe.

Anonymous said...

Recently there was a physical altercation between security and a dog walker. Maybe that would not have happened with a dog run available.

Maybe that would not have happened if dogs were still strictly prohibited. Maybe if Lee Harvey Oswald's rifle jammed... Maybe, maybe, maybe.

If you were to take a poll of all ST-PCV residents, I'm sure 95% would say NO DOG RUN HERE! There's a vocal minority clamoring for this, but it'll never happen. and if it did, it'd unleash such a barrage of non-stop complaints (and possibly lawsuits) that it'd be quickly shut down.

There are already dog runs in Tompkins Sq (4 blocks from ST) and Stuyvesant Sq (1 block away). Are your pooches that lame that they can't make that?

By the way PCVxd, I assume your prposing that they put it right outside your window, right? And your neighbors are all perfectly OK with it, right?

Right...

PCVxd said...

@anonymous
No I would not mind. If you are so sure about the poll, why don't you take one?

Tompkins sq is 4 blocks from 14 and A/B. Last time I looked, this place is 14th to 23rd, 1st ave to C. Pooches are walked by persons. MANY of them are lame and elderly. I didn't know that all the pooches live on 14th. Thanks for letting us know that.

You seem to be very worried about lawsuits. Why is that?

@STR
You're right. Yesterday I saw a woman pick up from a walk and then pull out a bottle and squirt water (I guess it was water..) and wipe the sidewalk!!

Today I saw a sidewalk Zamboni thing scrubbing the 20th st sidewalk. Residue and all, our walks are still the cleanest in the City.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I'm familiar with that woman. She's the ONLY dog owner I see cleaning up that way after her dog. It's disingenuous to suggest that she's any kind of norm, if that's the attempt.

Interesting, however, that you have ignored so far the issue that dogs are not supposed to do their number twos on walkways. I guess it's okay with you.

Anonymous said...

PC

The only lawsuit I'm worried about is Roberts vs. Tishman.

I'm simply pointing out that the probability of eventually being sued is a powerful disincentive against building a dog run.

We'll assume this proposed dog run is residents only right? Well. whose going to enforce that? Security?

And if an "outsider" comes in with an aggressive dog that injures another dog, or a person, you don't think that the victim will sue the property owners for failing to keep them out?

No doubt the marketing people came up with the "Pet friendly, dedicated outdoor area for dogs" sales pitch, but when they ran it by the legal department, it was quickly squelched.

Anonymous said...

No, it's unusual that's why I mentioned it. -Yes I encourage the dogs to shit on the walkways, haven't you seen me? I am the guy who yells at people to stop letting their dogs go in the street when there's a perfectly good sidewalk to shit on. -are you crazy or just trying to create controversy?

Lawsuits--there must be some kind of hold harmless in the dog lease rider. Anyway anyone can walk in here and slip n' fall on ice or toddler puke or a branch from a tree could fall on their head or any infinite number of proximate causes could occur. or how about this-a dog walker and a good samaritan get beaten up by the Tishman security vopos.

Security-maybe......!!!
Have you seen the T&V today? How about a keycard entry?
PCVxd

Anonymous said...

One would think that the bigger issue here is that "security" has been bullying and even physically abusing people here for years. The PCV dog debacle isn't about dogs. Oh, and the electrocuted dog? That's about TS's bootleg electrical outlets.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

PCVxd, it seems your game here is to deride those who think there should be some rules for dogs, but yet you get yourself in a knot if you are called out to be more forthright. So, the question you have avoided to answer remains: Do you think dogs should be allowed to take a dump on a walkway, with clean-up by the owner afterward?

Anonymous said...

I read the story in T&V and what I find even more troubling than the "security" bozos assaulting tenants is the 13th Pct Police Officer refusing to allow one of the victims to file a complaint, stating "Nothing happened." That is very scarey and does not inspire any trust in the fairness of the 13th Pct. if they are in bed with "security."

Anonymous said...

Wow, quick to assume that the 13th Pct is on the side of Security. Perhaps there is another reason - like maybe the complainant was not credible. Just because you can file a complaint does not mean the police have to act on it. Many complaints are filed that simply do not pass the "smell test." I read the same article and thought the full story was not being told. There is definitely more to it. Hopefully it will eventually come out.

Anonymous said...

What's to tell ? The passerby had no right to interfere with a security action on private property, the dog walker had no right to have the dogs on the grass, and because of all this they think they deserve a dog run !

I think that everyone needs to obey the rules. What's happening here is unfair to the thousands of tenants (the majority) that don't have dogs. It's criminal.

Anonymous said...

Security has no right to assault anyone. The right to restrain someone who is committing a crime, yes, but to just rough someone up, no. There were enough onlookers who saw what happened. I do believe that the 13th Pct looks the other way when it comes to the infractions of the law committed by "security."

Anonymous said...

Where you one of those that saw and heard the whole incident ? Because unless you did, you can't testify to what happened.

Security has a job to do. If you don't like it, why don't you move ?

PCVxd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PCVxd said...

Where do I say that I think there should not be any rules? Quote me.

What kind of stupid question is that:

Do you think dogs should be allowed to take a dump on a walkway, with clean-up by the owner afterward?Since you have to ask.....well, NO.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see the incident in question, but I do know people who did. 99% of the time security don't do their job. They sit on their fat asses in their suvs and show little to no interest in what is going on. I have witnessed security overstepping the mark, but they only do it when they think they can get away with it. They don't take on anyone who might have a chance of fighting back. Notwithstanding that though, I have no intention of moving. I wish that the people who are constantly whining about dogs would move. I don't have a dog myself, but I have no objection to them whatsoever. I do object to the noisy, nasty tenants (a lot of them students) who gob and puke on the property. I've seen several of them do that, as well as piss up the walls of the buildings and on the trees. Security wouldn't tackle them because they might fight back. If you don't like the dogs, you move.

Anonymous said...

I think that everyone needs to obey the rules. What's happening here is unfair to the thousands of tenants (the majority) that don't have dogs. It's criminal.Hmmm... how about some of us concerned citizens forming a "Dogwatch" group?

A small roving band who will walk the grounds and loudly (but non-violently) confront anyone who's dog is witnessed violating the rules. We could blow whistles and chant "Dogs off the grass!"... make a little scene, and hopefully embarrass the violators into compliance. Maybe even videotape the encounters and post a montage of them on YouTube!

Whaddaya think?

PS - funny, but my verification word is MANGE!

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Tishman-Speyer made any attempt to enforce the rules that they made every dog owner sign ?

Why haven't they posted signs to keep dogs off the planted areas as they supposedly required ?

Why have they (obviously) instructed their security staff to (generally) employ a hands off policy concerning the abuse of the rules ?

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice that most of these dog owners who willfully violate the law seem to be self-centered, arrogant assholes ?

Anonymous said...

My guess is that the Security Czar probably told Mgmt, "No way we can enforce this", way back when, when "dog friendliness" was first proposed.

Mgmt only saw potential mkt rate renters with pets in their arms and dollar $ign$ in their eyes, and went ahead anyway.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Thank you, PCVxd, for finally wading through your sarcasm and bad mood to answer a simple question. Much appreciated.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I also don't believe at face value the tenant story in T & V about the dog altercation incident. You'd have to hear from the security side on this, and then probably a few more sides, to make any determination. Some of our security may not be the brightest bulbs in the universe, but they aren't stupid enough to get into an altercation without any reason. My guess is that the tenant with the dog was probably being obnoxious and uncooperative when security told him he had to leave the grass with his dog, and maybe even more. Meanwhile, the tenant who came upon the scene, and got knocked unconscious, actually stepped in between security and the dog owner while they were having this apparently intense disagreement/fight. Not a good move on his part.

This doesn't excuse the fact that no tenant should get knocked unconscious, of course, unless they are completely out of control.

Meanwhile, there's no police report of this incident. Which is telling.

Anonymous said...

My son was riding his scooter near one of the playgrounds this weekend, when I noticed a woman approaching with 2 large dogs. As he was getting closer to them, I could see the dogs getting agitated, and the woman was patting and talking softly to them, trying to calm them down.

But... no luck. When my boy came within 5 feet or so, both dogs reared up and began barking and lunging at my son. The woman was straining to hold them both back. My son panicked, dropped his scooter, and ran away terrified.

I was really pissed, and told this person (not loudly, but firmly) that maybe walking a pair of vicious dogs near a kiddie playground was not a brilliant idea. But, (oh, Surprise! Can you believe?) she claimed it was all my son's fault for "scaring" her dogs!

The nerve of my kid! Riding his scooter near the playground while her dogs were near, just trying to find a satisfactory spot to leave their "deposits"!

I guess we'll be bringing the pepper spray, along with the juice and snacks, next outing...

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I've seen several residents (or non-residents) walking their pair of large dogs around the Oval. Isn't there a pounds limit to dogs in Stuy Town? I'm pretty sure there is--either 80 or 90. It seems the pairing of these large dogs goes way beyond that limit.

And, yes, unfortunately some dog owners believe their pooches have greater rights than human beings, kids included.

Anonymous said...

Every day I see people breaking the dog rules.
Last Saturday at 2am I heard barking and saw a woman walking the oval her dog running off the leash. Yesterday I saw a young woman take her little white dog into playground 10 let if off the
leash and let it run arround. Today I saw 3 dogs on the grass and 2 releave themselves on the
cobblestones. Things are getting a lot worse and the dog owners of this community should start doing the right thing and yes the dogs are getting
bigger.

h said...

idiot

G-MONEY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
G-MONEY said...

"April 21, 2009 12:48 PM
Blogger Stuy Town Reporter said...

I've seen several residents (or non-residents) walking their pair of large dogs around the Oval. Isn't there a pounds limit to dogs in Stuy Town? I'm pretty sure there is--either 80 or 90. It seems the pairing of these large dogs goes way beyond that limit.

And, yes, unfortunately some dog owners believe their pooches have greater rights than human beings, kids included."

Talk to the leasing office, they will allow ANY dogs on the premises. If someone's dogs exceed this arbitrary limit, it's the leasing offices fault. They are liars whose job it is to line TS pockets.

As for the "residue" you squawk about, this is unavoidable, the LAW requires that you remove the offending pile, not scrub the earth clean, it is not even realistic to expect that. Like I said previously, perhaps it is time for the older residents to move on. I hear Bayside is quite lovely. I am a MR and I pay more so I don't want to hear your complaints.

Anonymous said...

I live at 272 First Avenue and I mostly work from home. There is a dog that lives either at 272 or the next building over that barks all day long. it starts at around 9 Am and ends at 6PM. I am assuming he barks because his owner is away at work. I can not figure out where it is coming from but I am shocked that no one that lives next door to this barking dog has complained. Maybe they have but since it's a market rate tenant Tishman Speyer cares more about their rent than quality of life.
Don't get me wrong I love animals. It's the owners that are the problem. My friend who lives in a coop had a dog that would bark all day and people complained. He had to take it to doggy day care when he went to work to resolve the problem. Whoever owns this dog should do the same or invest the time to train him properly so he does not bark when he is left alone.
As I am writing this post the dog has been barking the entire time!