Newly Renovated Bull Moose Dog Run Floods, But Remains Open

This wasn’t supposed to happenPhotograph by Jill Weinberg.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Jill Weinberg couldn’t believe it when she and her dog Ellie arrived at the Bull Moose Dog Run, next to the Museum of Natural History at 81st Street, this Friday morning: it was filled with large puddles.

Her first thought was, “They spent $800K for this? They were supposed to be fixing the drainage, UGH!” she texted WSR. “Then, I wondered if there was a big rain last night that I slept through! It reminded me of the old days here.”

Weinberg was referring to the days before the year-long renovation of the quarter-acre run, which was completed last month. Before that, it had taken eight years to get the project started.

“We are aware of this issue and are working to address it as soon as possible,” a Parks Department spokesperson emailed WSR on Friday.

Meanwhile, a contractor is pumping water out of the flooded area and into a nearby drain through a generator and pump, the spokesperson said.

The dog run is open.

We will follow up and keep you posted.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 34 comments | permalink
    1. Jack McDade says:

      The cost was always unbelievable given the meh dog run. But now, the cost seems like a crime was committed!
      I also have noticed that the pebbles are not the greatest for dogs to run on. They also can get embedded in their feet.

    2. nina weinstein says:

      If the dogs are chasing balls or toys they end up swallowing pebbles. Who thought this was a good surface?

    3. Dave says:

      My dog hates the pebbles too..

    4. Anomalous says:

      $350,000 hmmmmmmm

    5. GG says:

      Why a “dog” run?? Doesn’t this seem a little exclusionary and elitist?

      I mean, what about cats or hamsters or parrots? People have other pets than dogs and this leaves them out completely. It’s an outrage. Our tax money was used too, no?

      And on the UWS, liberal bastion of the tolerant, no less. This is really disappointing.

      Clearly, the ever-powerful dog lobby has de Blasio’s ear and maybe more. Between the bike lanes and dog runs it is clear that the special interests have taken over this city.

      • Lol says:

        I hope this post is sarcasm. If serious the UWS has more problems than small pebbles

      • nemo paradise says:

        Heartily applaud your standing up to dog privilege. There’s no room for caninecentric exclusion in 2020. No goldfish, no peace!

    6. SallyForman says:

      We’ve already stopped visiting this dog run. The pebbles were an awful decision, our (smaller sized) dog was clearly uncomfortable and wouldn’t run around on them – he actually had swollen paws after the first few visits.

      • Christine E says:

        We went once and could not return. Our small dog easily could escape the small dog run, due to large gaps under the exterior perimeter gate/fence. I too am curious about the engineering, contracting, and oversight for this project. It seems a big fail.

    7. Christine E says:

      Perhaps, the pebbles are clogging the drains! So need to put mesh filters on the pipes. I hope the solution is this easy.

    8. H says:

      Many dogs have had eye infections from this dog run because of the little pebbles and the consistency of the dirt that’s mixed with the pebbles. Also very bad for their paws. Whoever designed this dog run does not have a dog. I say stay away!

    9. Loves NYC; hates its bureaucrats says:

      Okay, folks…it’s a contest:
      1. The NYC Parks Dept.; or
      2. NYCHA; or
      3. Whatever deals with homelessness; or
      4. DoT; or
      5. NYC Board of Elections
      Feel free to add your fave…there must be many more

    10. Burke says:

      One has to wonder, is there anything doesn’t get screwed up on the deBlasio watch….

    11. Pedestrian says:

      The story of our city in a dog run. No planning, incompetence And corruption leaves us all flooded by problems.

    12. jhminnyc says:

      The Upper West Side is in full kvetching flow, pandemic or no pandemic. Such trauma for pooches! Such drama for owners! So worthy of a Seinfeld episode.

    13. Mark P says:

      Ugh indeed.

      There’s a grassy triangle just west of the dog run and north of the Nobel Monument that is fenced in and off limits for public use. And I’ve seen a dog owner here and there who would go in with his/her pooch anyway.

      So after the new dog run opened, I found myself disappointed one day recently to see not a solo dog owner, but 5 dogs and 10 people on that plot.

      I feel more understanding seeing this news and the comments about the pebbles. And I have also noticed that the Teddy Roosevelt Park lawns aren’t being maintained, probably to save money.

      I think there is something to “broken windows” as an explanation for human behavior. As a strategy for policing? Highly problematic indeed. But chaos does seem to beget chaos, just as order does order.

    14. hotdoggie says:

      is it just me? my dog and i really enjoy the new dogrun and the gravel is amazing. no dust clouds and no mud and caked dirt like before.

      • EricaC says:

        My dogs seem to love it.

      • uwsdoglover says:

        My dog also loves the dog run! We have had no issues with the surface and the parks team is there every day addressing any issues that come up. Someone also came and brought the dogs water every day when they disabled the pumps to address the water. Not sure why we can’t all be thankful to have an additional spot for our furry friends to play without the constant complaining. If the surface doesn’t work for your pet, luckily there are other nearby options.

      • Janne Appelbaum says:

        Not just you. You and two (2) other people.

    15. Beverly says:

      On day one of re-opening, went into the dog run and and within ten minutes noticed my dog struggling to lift his legs through the lumpy hard surface. I took him out and noticed he was limping and couldn’t put his right hind leg down to walk. Took him to the vet and x-rays revealed a torn ligament with 6-8 weeks of rest needed. Just wondering who I should send the outrageously high vet bill for payment?

      • EricaC says:

        That could well be because he exercised hard after having nowhere to run for a long time.

        • Janne Appelbaum says:

          I know the dog, the owner, and the incident. It did not happen the way you hypothesized.

        • Beverly says:

          I made sure my dog exercised many hours a day in Central Park. It was the awful surface in the dog run for sure.

      • Eyes on you says:

        I also know that dog and your dog is 13 years old and had that Pre-existing problem for the past couple years the dog-run did not do that to your dog “spike”. You’re just looking for a handout… Shame on you!

    16. jhminnyc says:

      What type of surface do Upper West Side dog owners require in a dog run? No owners complaining of the small pebbles seem to offer that answer. I’m sure there are many experts among you to give us an idea.

      • Zac says:

        Picture you with four legs walking on the soft sand of the beach…. Now picture of yourself instead of 2 feet but with 4 feet….
        Two factors here:
        1. Balance 4 legs going at the same time. The surface is not firm enough like a grassy park ground for support of the doggies back.
        2. Very small pebbles with grades of sand would feel like glass in between the dogs Paws. Irritating the dog paws It would become raw and start to bleed starting infection inside around the paws.

        The surface is not level enough like a grassy park ground for support of the doggies back.

    17. Concerned professional says:

      A very good example of a dog run would be the Chelsea dog run at 23rd St. ….Firm surface with rock-climbing and many dog agility objects. All dogs love dog agility (small, medium or large, it’s a favorite for any breed. The UWS at West 81 Street does not have. Surface area (pea gravel / stones) appears to be harsh on some of the dog’s paws. Please know that the surface area for the dog park surface was not researched extensively. A dog sprinkler system area should be added in the dog run with well drainage would be the ideal play area during the summer months. A surface area with well drainage turf would be ideal.
      Artificial turf is a surface of synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally or are normally played on grass. However, it is now being used on residential lawns, dog runs and commercial applications as well.

    18. Songe says:

      The dog run is a total failure. Dogs can’t actually run in it because of the deep pebbles which also hurt their feet; balls don’t bounce off the surface. It’s such a waste and a shame that after one year of construction we get an unusable dog park. How disappointing and sad.