2008-05-15- Get Out: Dog Day Afternoons- SIlive

Get Out: Dog Day Afternoons
May 15th, 2008
By James Yates


Just when Fido figured he might be snubbed again this party season, two invites come especially for ruff breeds like him.

The Wolfe's Pond Pooches, a crew dedicated to keeping up the dog run in Wolfe's Pond Park, parties Saturday with its annual spring soiree, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Let Fido frolic in the dog park and pick up free dog food samples. Then sign up to put a microchip in his ear for a nominal fee. The tracking device could save his life. Dog adoption agency reps talk up their cutest potential adoptees, and the FDNY's Dalmatian mascot poses for photos.

The Wolfe's Pond Pooches party (wppooches.com) coincides with the city Parks Department's "It's My Park!" celebration. A steel drum band keeps the beat while humans (and lucky dogs) munch on picnic grub.

Sara Gaither, president of the Wolfe's Pond Pooches, describes the dog park as knock-out beautiful with its New York Harbor views. But it has rules that must be followed, warns Gaither, the owner of Oxford, a 100-pound mutt.

"It gets very crowded come spring and summer, especially on weekends," says Gaither, 32, of Richmond. Children enter the dog run at their parents' risk. "You can't have a two-and-a-half-foot child playing with an 80-pound Rottweiler."

The Wolfe's Pond party is free, but donations are welcome. The pooch owners' club is looking to purchase new fencing and install a better storm water drainage system.

Also Saturday, if Fido is feeling social and ready to explore new places, get him geared up for the first Doggie Pedal Parade. The event is hosted by Time's Up!, a Manhattan-based group that promotes the green movement.

The ride showcases bikes adapted to transport animals -- pups in baskets or pull-along carts. Bring your Fido-friendly bike or just check out other cyclists' concoctions. Bikers without dogs are encouraged to dress as their favorite animals and join the Safety Pooch Patrol to help escort the ride. It stops at animal rescue shelters.

The one-hour pooch pedal begins at 2 p.m. in Union Square Park, near the Broadway and Fourth Avenue entrance. It ends with festivities in Washington Square Park. times-up.org.