Dusty dog run colors pooches pink, pet owners claim

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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 or

Reach Kate Briquelet at or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.
Updated 5:29 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

SuzieQ from BH says:
Not to worry-- the two high rises proposed for the site will soon take care of the dusty paw problem permanently!
Jan. 13, 2012, 9:33 am
emile from avenue d says:
What breed is that guy using as a prop?
Jan. 13, 2012, 9:43 am
bruce from midwood says:
Probably just clay
Jan. 13, 2012, 11:26 am
Erica from Atlantic Ave says:
My terrier is the ultimate Swiffer and returns from his daily romps totally brownstone pink. My clothes, sheets and towels are also pink. I am willing to dig the stuff up with my own shovel and contribute in any other way to remedy the situation. I'm sure many others feel the same way I do!
Jan. 13, 2012, 12:18 pm
Eric from Brooklyn says:

Looks like a mixed breed blue heeler.
Jan. 13, 2012, 2:01 pm
bklyn20 from Brooklyn Heights says:
Emilie/Eric, it's an Australian Cattle Dog, which is quite similar to a Blue Heeler. And it is the guy's actual dog and not a "prop."

My dogs are not that light-colored so the pinky color is less obvious on them. But after they've been in the Pier 6 run, my upholstered furniture and bedding acquire a terracotta glow. If you wear your khakis to the run and expect to go straight to work afterwards, think again!
Jan. 13, 2012, 6:32 pm
emile from avenue d says:
It is a pack animal taken from its brothers and sisters and placed in a life of subjugation with a human. A prop.
Jan. 14, 2012, 9:59 pm
CityGirl from Columbia St says:
Another problem with these rocks is that their size is just large enough that larger/heavier dogs can not comfortably walk/run on them without hurting their paws. Therefore the big dogs run back an forth on the risers/bleachers (getting them nice and pick for your tooshie!). I hope they consider that too.
Jan. 15, 2012, 3:27 am
Sara from Carroll Gardens says:
So Emile from Avenue D, do you suggest that as a society we take all the dogs who have already been domesticated and set them free in hopes that their survival instincts will kick in? Or do you think it is more humane for them to die, because at least they will no longer suffer from "a life of subjugation with a human?"
Jan. 15, 2012, 12:22 pm
Emile from Avenue D says:
Yes Sara from Carroll Gardens, that is precisely what I am suggesting. Let the hounds die off or survive as they will--better than being cooped up in twee brownstone apartments with self-centered humans who treat them as props. Or perhaps fuzzy Brooklyn is better off in hand-knit sweaters made by some Wisconsin girl who's new to Brooklyn, but soo loving it!
Jan. 16, 2012, 12:42 am
Emile from Avenue D says:
Or do we think that all domesticated dogs would die off of they didn't have people like Sara from Carroll Gardens to feed them bowls of carbohydrate rich slop? Hardly. Those that die off would be the most egregious examples of human ego and hubris. Good riddance.
Jan. 16, 2012, 12:50 am
Emile from Avenue D says:
The sad, solitary life of most dogs is another example of selfish humans using nature as props. To argue otherwise is delusion.
Jan. 16, 2012, 12:54 am
ronny from gowanus says:
dog run around, dog fall down. Doggy see doggy do, doggy poo on all of yous. Saddoggy fly, fast doggy flop, pigdoggy slop, pink doggy pop. happy doggy drop dead as a door nail if it up to emile. saddestness enguphs me. poor is this excuse, for a manwoman!!
Jan. 16, 2012, 6:54 pm
LOL@Emelie from Avenue D from Manhattan says:
Emelie from Avenue D

You DO realize you're just talking to yourself, don't you?

Props or not. Some people like the companionship of a dog, cat or fish. Who the piss are you to preach your ——?

Your mother should've been fixed before she became a mother. You are a waste of a human being.
March 6, 2012, 10:35 pm

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