Downtown Los Angeles is enjoying a spurt in growth, and with that has come a growth in spurts.
But just where in that concrete Shangri-La-La is a dog supposed to pee?
With the revitalization of downtown, and a campaign to attract upwardly mobile types (and their dogs), more of both are relocating to the area — only to find that convenient places for dogs to urinate weren’t part of the makeover, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The latest attempt to address the problem has been to locate small — and we do mean small — patches of artificial turf in areas designated (by humans) for canine toileting needs. As you can see above, it’s hardly a dog park.
Blair Besten, executive director of the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District, said patches began being installed in August as part of a trial run. Three tree wells that no longer contained trees, in spaces away from restaurants and heavy pedestrian traffic, were used to install 4-by-4-foot patches of artificial grass.
If they’re popular and hold up to regular use, the program may be expanded, Besten told the newspaper.
By redirecting dogs to the patches, she said, the city can cut down on odors, peed-upon buildings, sidewalks and trash cans, and the residue that is tracked into offices and apartments. The patches are located at Spring and 7th, near the corner of 7th and Main, and on 6th just after Main.
“They should have put them in a long time ago,” said downtown resident Helena Gaeta, who has trained her dachshund-Chihuahua mix to go in tree wells. While downtown advertising campaigns targeted dog owners, she noted, there isn’t much greenspace available to dogs.
A survey by the Downtown Center Business Improvement District this year showed one of every three residents of the area owns a dog.
“Dogs have been the greatest thing for the downtown L.A. renaissance,” said Hal Bastian, executive vice president of the district. ”It creates a community because more people are on the streets. It’s a better environment.”
But even with dog owners scooping up poop — and, of course, not all do — pee remains a problem.
Not all dogs find the patches pee-worthy. Josh Jacobson, who recently moved from downtown Long Beach, said his two Chihuahuas avoid the turf patches, possibly because they hold too many scents.
“The dogs are still trying to figure it out,” he said.
(Photo: One of the patches of artificial turf installed in downtown L.A.; by Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times )
Posted by jwoestendiek December 3rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, artificial, core, district, dog, dog owners, dog parks, dogs, downtown, grass, greenspace, growth, historic, historic downtown business improvement, los angeles, newcomers, patches, pee, pet owners, pets, renaissance, revitalization, turf, urban, urinate, walking, waste
I have heard the term “brick shithouse,” but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one — until Saturday, when I encountered something close: a toilet made of brick in a restroom made of cinderblock at a park well outside Harrisburg.
It — the term — is, at least when I’ve heard it, generally used to describe someone of sturdy frame, as in: “He (she) is built like a brick shithouse.”
Urban Dictionary offers these definitions: “…very muscled and tough; impervious, unassailable … a stand alone toilet, constructed from brick.” (Is there a rural dictionary? There should be.)
I’m not sure of the phrase’s origin, but I’d guess, when outhouses were common, most were made of flimsy wood — until someone constructed a brick one, and word spread about how sturdy it was. I’m guessing people flocked to see it, making comments like, “Now, that’s a shithouse.” Somehow, from that point, the phrase began being used to describe large and sturdy people.
Ace and I were on our way to visit some puppies for sale by an Amish breeder (story to come) when we stopped at a municipal park to stretch our legs (to use a more polite euphemism). I stepped into the bathroom to see a toilet seat perched atop what appeared to be a chimney.
I’d imagine sitting on it — a purpose I did not require — would make one feel a little like Santa Claus.
Anyway, having seen a brick shithouse, or at least something close to it, we can cross it off our list and continue our travels, staying on the lookout for hell in a handbasket, a two-dollar whore, raining cats and dogs, and lipstick on a pig.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 20th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bathroom, brick shithouse, built like a brick shithouse, dog's country, dogs, house, pennsylvania, pets, phrase, public, restroom, road trip, rural, shit, shit house, shithouse, slang, toilet, travel, travels, travels with ace, urban
On the streets of Moscow, the evolution of dog is playing out in reverse.
So contends Andrei Poyarkov, a biologist and wolf specialist who has dedicated himself to studying the city’s vast population of strays — the 30,000-plus dogs that, while learning such new urban skills as using the subways, are in reality moving back to something closer to a wolf-like state.
His efforts were recounted in an enlightening piece in yesterdays Financial Times.
Poyarkov began studying the strays in 1979, starting with those living near his apartment and the ones he encountered on his way to work. He made recordings of the sounds that the strays made, and began to study their social organization. He photographed them and mapped where each dog lived.
Poyarkov, who works at the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, says Moscow’s strays are somewhere between house pets and wolves, in the early stages of the shift from the domesticated back towards the wild. It’s a process that he believes can’t be reversed, at least not in individual dogs. The strays are resistant to domestication, and many can’t stand being confined indoors.
Most of Moscow’s strays rarely wag their tails, are wary of humans and show no signs of affection towards them. A few remain comfortable with people, but more have moved on to a second stage, where they will approach people only to get food.
A third group interact mainly with other strays and get their food from garbage bins.
The last of Poyarkov’s groups are the wild dogs. “There are dogs living in the city that are not socialized to people. They know people, but view them as dangerous. Their range is extremely broad, and they are predators. They catch mice, rats and the occasional cat. They live in the city, but as a rule near industrial complexes, or in wooded parks. They are nocturnal and walk about when there are fewer people on the streets.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: andrei poyarkov, animals, behavior, city, dog, dogs, domestication, evolution, feral, moscow, pets, research, reverse, russia, stray, strays, street, study, subway, urban, wild, wolf, wolves
New York dog writer Nadia Zonis recently appeared on New York’s WNYC to tout the newest in a series of guides for walking your dog in the city.
Zonis, the New York editor for Urbanhound.com, is the author of “City Walks With Dogs, New York,” which includes 50 flash cards, each depicting a different route, and the pet-friendly attractions you’ll encounter along the way.
Some of the walks included are SoHo and the West Village, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Roosevelt Island and Park Slope’s Fifth Avenue. You can order it from Amazon here.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: brooklyn bridge, central park, city, dog, dog walking, dogs, maps, nadia zonis, new york, new york city, routes, soho, urban, walking, walks with dogs, west village
Michael Vick, in the first of what he hopes will be dozens of appearances around the country to urge low-income youths to avoid dogfighting, spoke to a small gathering in Atlanta yesterday — but most press was banned from the event.
Vick’s visit to a suburban Atlanta community center was largely off limits — both to the news media and most members of the neighborhood it was supposed to be helping. Only 55 people and a crew from “60 Minutes” were allowed to attend, the Associated Press reported.
An Associated Press reporter, videographer and photographer were among the media banished from the property by police. Most people who live in the largely black neighborhood southeast of Atlanta were unaware of Vick’s appearance.
Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, said the group wants to be open and reach as many people as possible with its anti-dogfighting message, but Vick’s handlers insisted on tight controls on the meeting.
“We don’t want this to be a flash in the pan,” Pacelle said. “We are committed to transparency over the long run and having Michael involved in many community-based events to speak about the issue. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but he wants the opportunity in a controlled setting to make his first statement on the issue. But I’m sure he’s going to be speaking out more based on what he had to say today.”
“We’re giving him an opportunity to plug into our community-based forums,” Pacelle said. “But he obviously has his own set of individuals who are working with him and want to present things in the way they want.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 60 minutes, anti-dogfighting, appearance, atlanta, campaign, community, dogfighting, first, hsus, humane society, meeting, michael vick, private, public, talk, urban, wayne pacelle, youth