By Deanna Garcia
July 11, 2019
On sunny Tuesday morning, dozens of dogs brought their owners for the grand opening of the Bronx Park Dog Run on Boston Road between Bronx Park East and Pelham Parkway South. The new dog digs feature two areas for all sizes of pooches, natural boulders, and brand new benches. What could be bad? Dogs in the nabe now get the chance to run loose and make new friends.
Five years ago, local dog lover Jacqueline Lutnick approached the Pelham Parkway Neighborhood Association with the idea for a place for dogs to be off of their leashes. She mentioned that the dog run at Pelham Bay Park isn’t feasible for residents near Bronx Park, especially if they don’t have a car. “A lot of people in this neighborhood don’t drive and we have a lot of elders,” Lutnick said. “Their dogs don’t get the chance to go out and socialize.”
“It’s a win-win for the animals and the people,” said Steven Glosser, vice president of the Pelham Parkway Neighborhood Association who was clear the new dog run will not just benefit dogs. “Hopefully it encourages people to get out more.”
Lutnick spoke about how when she would take her dog, Kelev, to the park for a walk, she would always run into people who loved playing with Kelev. She said, “This park gives people who don’t have a dog or can’t have a dog a chance to be around a dog.”
Eli Rodriguez, dog owner, told thisistheBronX that his dog, Sunshine, had been waiting for this dog run to open ever since the winter. “I brought her down here so she could socialize since she’s only used to the dogs in my house.”
Bronx Parks Department Commissioner, Iris Rodriguez, brought her dog, Chole, to enjoy the opening of the new dog run. “This community has been looking forward to this for such a long time,” she said. “It’s a place where people can talk and engage with friends and even have a dog club.”
“You talk about your dogs like your children,” said Rodriguez. She believes that a dog park is just like a playground where people can talk and meet up with others in the neighborhood.
The Friends of Pelham Parkway plan to help make sure that the dog run is kept in good condition. They were giving dog owners a collapsible water bowl, dog poop bags with a dispenser and a reusable bag. Roxanne Delgado, organizer of Friends of Pelham Parkway, said that the group plans to use the new dog run as a community center to create activities for the dogs, such as a Halloween party. Not only that but to teach people how to care for their dogs properly.
One of the concerns that some people have are owners not picking up after their dogs. “If you don’t pick up after your dog, there are disease that can transmitted to other dogs so it’s not good for them,” said Delgado.
“I always tell people to please pick up after themselves,” Rodriguez said. “The dog owners should be able to clean up after themselves and to be able to enjoy and appreciate each other.”
Dogs were running around in the sun with smiles on their faces in their newly beloved park. Delgado said, “They can finally have a place to run, have their exercise, playdates and enjoy the summer.”