La Dolce Doggie Or Isn’t That Really Dangerous?

A BHB tipster sends in this photo and observation:

There’s a nabe dog walker who consistently puts her charges in danger by “walking” the dogs while she rides on her Vespa scooter. Here’s a photo snapped this morning.

A few things to point out about the photo:

  • She’s endangering those dogs with this unprofessional and reckless behavior. A dog could easily get caught her wheels, and how can she have much control over the dogs if she’s trying to control her scooter?
  • The brake light indicates the Vespa is on.
  • She’s driving down a one way street the wrong way with an oncoming car right in front of her. This is dangerous to everyone involved—particularly the dogs
  • She’s not wearing a helmet (illegal).

In April, Brooklyn Heights super attorney/BHB super commenter TK Small observed:

This week I saw something somewhat bizarre. The heavyset woman who walks dogs in the neighborhood was doing so while slowly rolling up Pierrepont street on her scooter. I only saw her do this for 20 or 30 feet, but quickly cars were accumulating behind her. I come from a cat loving family so I am not sure whether this would be considered good practice.

Is this all that dangerous? (Update: The NY Times wrote about Brooklyn Heights dogs walkers in 2002)

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  • anon

    No no no, she’s doing it all wrong. The dog are supposed to be pulling her along on the scooter. Think of it as the urban version of a dogsled.

    (Note to all dog lovers: I’m kidding. No, really- I am)

  • oh no she didn’t

    this is so wrong in oh so many ways…
    she’s ridiculous. first of all, she is definitely putting those dogs in harms way. second, she is illegally riding the vespa (or buddy or vino not sure which one she owns) in many ways: going the wrong way on a one way, no helmet, you are not supposed to carry anything while on the bike and I’m guessing she doesn’t even have a license or permit because if she did she wouldn’t be doing this.
    i understand that walking the dogs all day long can be exhausting but this is NOT the way to be doing it. i hope someone either calls the cops or lets the owners of those dogs know what she is doing…she’s the one who should be put on a leash.

  • clarknt67

    wow, I’d be truly upset if I was paying someone to “walk” my dogs and found out they were committing this dangerous travesty. It does seem like an accident waiting to happen. I can easily see her losing control of both the scooter and her charges.

  • Ethan

    To be written in Cornflower Blue Crayola:

    Your Vespa scooter was walking my dog for a very long time waking up my conscience. Please don’t scooter walk on this block again, ever.

  • http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/openyourheartwithpets/ Janice, “Open Your Heart with Pets”

    I agree with the other comments, wrong on so many levels. How can she be attuned to the animals needs, other traffic, pedestrians, etc.? This is not the way to multi-task. I can’t imagine the dogs enjoy being pulled along this way. How can other vehicles navigate around her? Are dogs supposed to be walked in the street rather than on a sidewalk? But, bottom line, she isn’t doing the job she should in caring for the dogs. And she’s putting them and humans in danger. Maybe she’ll get a ticket.

  • Bongo

    I saw this a couple of weeks ago, and was on the brink of calling the police, but she zoomed off. Oddly enough, when I’ve recounted the tale, opinions are mixed. I think it’s absurdly dangerous on so many points, to her, the dogs, other road users, and other pedestrians.

  • Oh yes she did!

    Cut her a break, people… and don’t discriminate. Why should dog walking only be a job for people who actually have the motivation to move their own legs? Why should someone be disqualified from dog walking because she prioritzes her own laziness ahead of the safety and welfare of the dogs in her charge? You know, if some of you had a more positive attitude, you could learn a lot from this brave soul. Despite being utterly unqualified and unfit for this line of work, she forges ahead in her chosed field, undaunted by the risks she poses to herself, those sweet dogs, and every other pedestrian and driver in her path. She is a living, breathing, not-walking testament to the human spirit!

  • GHB

    Hopefully, one of the owners will see this and put a stop to it. She has trouble controlling some of her charges on foot. One of them repeatedly lunges at my dog without provocation. I’d hate to see that happen while she’s scootin’.

  • Cranberry St

    It is unfortunate that tickets cannot be issued for being bad at life… it is also no longer a wonder where all the side walk bisquits are coming from. Hard to see the follow through on the cleanup aspect of the job if the walking isn’t even being done.

  • Okamura

    I just wonder how many people see her on daily basis thinking that she might be very irresponsible and perhaps dangerous to herself, dogs, others.. (in this case)– and not saying anything.

  • jiker

    this disgusts me. riding a vespa while walking dogs is completely irresponsible and unprofessional. operating a vehicle while walking dogs is very dangerous and a distaster waiting to happen. that is just common sense. i would never let anyone walk my dog who does this. these are animals who their owners see as their children and mean so much to them. this person should not be walking dogs if she can’t do it safely.

  • http://franceskuffel.net frances

    My, what seething responses, riddled with innuendo, one-off sightings, suppositions, insults, accusations and rumors. Dogs on sidewalks? Not with double-wide strollers. Sidewalk biscuits while trotting along a scooter? I don’t think so. Look at just how many of these responses rest on shaky facts. I’m not defending the practice but I’m amazed at the viciousness that accompanies the lack of further investigation.

  • anon

    What shaky facts? What’s vicious about posting eyewitness accounts?

    Many people in the nabe have seen this person repeatedly riding her Vespa on the sidewalk, pulling dogs along behind her moterized scooter, and as the photo shows, engaging in multiple illegal activities. Condeming someone’s unprofessional, dangerous and illegal behavior? Puleeze, that’s not vicious.

    Why post something just to be contrarian?

  • oh no she didn’t

    for the record: i’m tired of the liberals defending the bulls***. what she is doing is absolutely ridiculous.
    I own a vespa and I own a dog and I would never ever do what this woman does for my dogs sake and for mine. i am always considerate of others if they may fear dogs, cleaning up after her (this hasn’t even ben mentioned..does she even stop to clean up or let the dogs “go”?) and i would never drive my vespa around the way she is in fear of hurting myself, getting a tkt or hurting others.
    i say report her immediately and let all the tkts she gets speak for themselves.

  • Cranberry St

    I’ll give it to you that an assumption that someone who cannot walk a dog (as evidenced by the photo in case you missed it – dog “walker” on a motorized scooter for the visually impaired) also cannot pick up after our four legged friends is quite presumptious. Just went out on a complete limb that the sidewalk droppings we all dodge on a daily basis walking through BH has little to do with this scenario.

  • Oh yes she did!

    Frances,
    What further investigation do you need? LOOK AT THE PHOTO. Yes, the responses are seething (and rightly so!), insults were hurled, and some assumptions may have been made… but don’t make us dog lovers into the bad guys here.

    So while you are carefully separating fact from fiction and conducting your investigation, I will make damn sure I intervene the next time I see scooter lady “walking” those dogs around, making them breathe her engine exhaust, and putting their lives at risk.

  • ABC

    I’ve seen her “walk” the bike with the dogs (as pictured), but I’ve never seen her actually riding the bike. Are we sure those are break lights and not just the tailights?

  • Cranberry St

    Not a mathematician here but pretty sure the scooter should not be a part of a dog walking equation.

  • Yuppers

    Seen it with my own two eyes – at least 5 times, ABC.

  • Timb

    Perhaps she’s disabled, just scrapping by on SSI and walks dogs so she can, say, eat? A little more charity might be in order.

  • Peter

    I would not let her walk my dog.

  • peppermint

    I’ve seen her before too. She was on her scooter on the sidewalk and had a few dogs in tow. Granted, she was going super slow – like slower than she would be going if she were actually walking. However, it doesn’t seem as though the dogs are getting much exercise and it certainly is unsafe if she’s going the wrong way on a one way street. Also, I can just see the scooter falling on a dog or nipping a paw or something. :(

  • Alison

    Okay. This is very very wrong. As a dog owner I know I don’t let my dog walk on grates or con ed manholes, avoid salt when it snows, steer clear of bicyclists, running children, broken glass…you know, the typical ‘keep my dog from harm and keep my dog from causing harm’ stuff. Someone needs to stop this woman. I’m pretty sure if she injures one of those dogs she doesn’t have the insurance to cover the bills. If I saw this on my street I’d be the first to wrench the leashes from her while calling the cops.

  • ABC

    Yuppers, if I would have seen this five times — or even once — I would have confronted her. Did you?

  • suitep

    How in the world are the dogs able to pee or poop? Not to mention her being able to scoop that poop….

    This is ridiculous, and I wouldn’t let her near a dog of mine.

  • for the dogs

    I’ve seen her with unleashed dogs on Willow Place lately (where she’s often on the scooter, driving the wrong way up the street) – and her dog (or the one she’s in charge of) races down the street after other leashed dogs… She had lost a lot of weight last year & was actually walking the dogs, but has put the weight all back on and now drives them around … makes me glad I have a cat!

  • anon

    Unleashed dogs? Add that to the list of illegal activities in which this dog “walker” engages.

    In NYC, dogs in public must be on a leash 6ft long or less except in an officially enclosed designated dog run, or at certain designated parks in designated areas from when the park opens until 9am, and then from 9pm until the park closes. Fines start at $100.

    Yes, but she’s a ‘nice’ person, so I guess that makes it all ok.

  • Chris

    It’s not a Vespa. It’s a scooter, but not a Vespa (please don’t sully the good name off Vespa by associating it with her). And I’ve seen her riding without a helmet as well.
    She’s a mess, a danger, and a menace. End of story.

  • http://www.urayahoo.com silly

    We need to treat animals humanely. However, why is that people go nuts about animals being treated poorly but don’t care about people suffering?

    What about this poor lady? Maybe she has difficulty walking or is extremely lazy and would rather sit her butt down instead of exercise?

  • anon

    i’ve seen her ride the scooter first the wrong way on a one way street while “walking” the dogs, and then onto the sidewalk to mail a letter. i couldn’t believe my eyes!

    it is bad for the environment for her to be burning the gas like that, and i agree, it does put herself and the animals at risk by going the wrong way.

    she may be a nice person, and might need the money, but this is no way to take care of others’ animals.