Call it a barking lot!
A new curbside kennel service in Fort Greene lets dog-owners pay to “park” their pooches while they run errands, which the creator says makes it easier to go see a man about a dog while you’re already out walking one.
“I hope they will make it a little easier to keep a dog in the city,” said Dog Parker inventor Chelsea Brownridge, who came up with the idea because she doesn’t like leaving her terrier Winston at their Bedford-Stuyvesant home when she is out and about.
Users pay $25 to join, then 20 cents a minute or $12 an hour to stash their hounds inside lockable boxes with a slim window at the front while they duck inside a cafe or do their banking, and Brownridge says around 50 people have signed up to the service so far.
Two of the boxes are up and running in the neighborhood now, but Brownridge hopes to have 100 out on Brooklyn streets by spring.
And neighborhood businesses report that they’re working as promised — more customers are coming inside now that their owners are unencumbered by canine companions, said one store-keep.
“Before, we usually had people asking for a menu and staying outside but now they can actually come inside,” said Keith Goldberg, who owns Baguetteaboutit bakery on Vanderbilt Avenue, one of two Dog Parker locations alongside the Fort Greene General Store on DeKalb Avenue.
Some dog owners are freaked out by the idea of leaving their mutt locked inside a box on the street, so Brownridge says she is creating a mobile application where they will be able to watch their pups on in-kennel cameras and monitor the temperature inside the doghouses.
But dogs love being in enclosed spaces because they’re den animals, Brownridge claims — though she acknowledges the experience isn’t for every man and his dog.
“There are plenty of dogs who don’t like kennels, but for the people who have signed up, their dogs have been comfortable with it,” she said.
And the boxes are no flea-bag motels, she says — someone swings by to sanitize them every day.