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Dusty dog run colors pooches pink, pet owners claim • Brooklyn Paper

Dusty dog run colors pooches pink, pet owners claim

Rick Knutsen says that after using the Pier 6 dog run, his pup Lola is covered with so much pink dust that he has to give her a bath.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Man’s best friend is biting the dust — and to the horror of dog-lovers, rolling around in it and taking it home!

Locals are demanding that Brooklyn Bridge Park replace the gravel at its Pier 6 dog run, saying that the pet playground’s surface constantly gives off a dust that turns pooches a pinkish hue and gets everywhere.

Tyra Bombetto, founder of Pink Dogs Unite, said that residents are fed up with cleaning rosy mud from paws and bellies — and from their furniture — after their canines play in the popular Atlantic Avenue dust bowl.

“Of course you’re going to be dirty at a dog run, but this is an entirely different level!” she said. “You leave with a pink dog every day.”

Park-lovers were elated when the tail-wagging oasis at the park’s southern leg near Furman Street opened two summers ago with a “brownstone screening” instead of concrete surface.

But now the salmon-colored dust has become an unpleasant way of life for many regulars.

“This is what the dog owners talk about: the weather, their dogs, and the pinkness of the gravel,” said Sarah Hanson of Cobble Hill, mom to two energetic hounds. “And there are a lot of things we do to deal with it.”

Most pup parents have special pants and sneakers they wear only to the park, or a flannel sheet on the bed to protect against sticky paw prints.

Longtime patron Rick Knutsen hoped that a few good rains would wash the dust away. Instead, he’s found himself washing his dog over and over again, making the bathwater so filthy that it “looks like a scene from ‘Psycho.’ ”

Jessica Short of George Schofield Company in New Jersey — which provided the stones — said that the tiny, grimy pieces are actually limestone leftovers from decorative gravel, and they’re commonly used in walkways and dog runs throughout the city.

Still, the material hasn’t been impervious to bad reviews at other dog parks in Meh-hattan (pronouned MEH-hattan), where critics claim that it gets humans too dirty and causes eye problems for pets.

Brooklyn Bridge Park officials are working with Bombetto and a cadre of regulars to find funding for alternatives.

“We look forward to working with [them] to continue the success of the run,” said Ellen Ryan, a park spokeswoman.

In the meantime, canine guardians are stuck with the mud.

“I’m not letting it to deter me at this point,” Bombetto said. “We’re all just waiting for pink-free dogs.”

Pier 6 dog run at Brooklyn Bridge Park [Atlantic Avenue and Furman Street in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 222-9939]. Visit brooklynbridgeparknyc.org or twitter.com/pinkdogsunite.

Reach Kate Briquelet at kbriquelet@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.

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