Puppy love in Bushwick: Neighbors, canines adore new dog run

Puppy love in Bushwick: Neighbors, canines adore new dog run
Photo by Ken Yapelli

Bushwick dog lovers are so excited about a newly opened pup run that at least one neighbor went out and purchased a pooch just so he could enjoy the new amenity.

Raymundo Rios said he couldn’t help himself when the city announced plans for the dog run — which features separate areas for big hounds and little canines — in the northeast corner of Maria Hernandez Park .

“I’ve been living here 15 years, and when I heard they were putting in a dog park, I decided to get a dog,” said Rios, 20, as he watched his five-month-old pit bull, Loki, roughhouse with a couple of other dogs. “It’s good for the dogs and it’s a good way to meet people.”

Neighborhood puppy lovers such as Jackie Torres — who claims she has received seven separate police citations for letting her two dogs off leash in Maria Hernandez Park — say the new dog run is much-needed.

Torres brings her pups Logan Blue; a German shepherd–Dalmation mix, and Maximus, a Shih Tzu, to the new bark park every day, and when she’s there she hands out treats to all of the dogs (many of whom she knows by name) and even changes the trash bags when they get too full.

“They gave it to us, now it’s up to us to maintain it so they don’t close it down,” said Torres, who pushes Maximus in a baby stroller while Logan Blue trots alongside her. “Some people don’t clean up their dogs’ poop, but I can’t let it just sit there and make the whole place unsanitary.”

The Parks Department says it installed new fencing, curbs, benches, trash cans, and doggie drinking fountains inside in the $558,000 puppy paradise — making it the eighth official dog run in the borough.

Amy Rush, who recently settled in Bushwick, is particularly pleased by the pooch playground because she feared there wouldn’t be enough space for her dog when she moved to the neighborhood from Atlanta.

“I’m surprised and happy that this is here,” said Rush, who has a nine-year-old mutt named Ohren. “I like that neighbors get together and talk about the weather and our dogs.”