Caught On Camera and Off-Leash: ‘Dog Days’ in Central Park

Let Maine have its moose and Florida its manatees! In the heart of Manhattan, it takes a dog to understand the beauty of autumn leaves, the thrill of new-fallen snow, and the promise of flowers on a rainy spring day.


Adrian Benepe, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation Commissioner

Photographer Fran Reisner compiles a “photographic love letter” to Central Park and its human and animal inhabitants in her new book, “The Dogs of Central Park.”

The dogs displayed in the book’s 140 photographs demonstrate the wide range of creatures that spend time in one of the country’s most-visited urban spaces. They run the gamut from calm and cuddly canines to more active breeds, including Oreo — “gentle giant” of a Great Dane — and Brinkley, a “mischievous” small dog who has earned the nickname “Stinkley Brinkley.”

Author: Fran Reisner
Publisher: Universe
Publication Date: April 2011

The mix of pet personalities on show in the collection is a tribute to the diversity of the humans and city that accompany them. While human park-goers marvel at this “beautiful confluence,” writes Reisner, for the dogs, “everyone is just another potential playmate, someone to run to, bark at, or chase around.”

In the book’s preface, City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe describes dog owners’ involvement with Central Park PAWS, a group that works with the Central Park Conservancy to help take care of the park and protect its landscape from any potential dog damage. Benepe remarks that Central Park “wouldn’t be complete without one of its most appealing and varying features — the dogs who know it well.”


MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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