0 Love It

Pet pickup stories

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman


Elizabeth A. Frank, 33, owner of Eye5 Marketing & Talent Inc, Greenwich Village; and Charlotte and KZ
"I was picked up in Washington Square Park. I kept seeing this guy from the back, he had an Iron Man tattoo on his calf. I was always like, Why won't that hot guy turn around? I feel like he's good looking but he'll never look at me. So eventually, at the end of the summer, a man came up to me and Charlotte screamed bloody murder. She was very protective and just wouldn't let him anywhere near me. It turns out he had been checking me out all summer, unbeknownst to me. We were in the dog run, and you know you don't look your best in the dog run. I figured he had seen me at my worst, so this was a jackpot! I only go up from here. Two weeks into dating him I saw him in shorts and I was like, Oh my god, you're the guy with the Iron Man tattoo. Score. We're getting married in April 2012 and we're a two-dog family. Now KZ, his dog, keeps my dog in line. The dogs are actually going to be the ring bearers. We have a tuxedo for KZ. Somewhere along the way someone told me, 'Get a dog, you'll meet men.' I got Charlotte in April and got engaged at Christmas."

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman


Adam Weprin, 45, owner of Bridge Caf, Greenwich Village; Sierra Lavoy, 21, premed student, West Village; and Shiloh and Loki
Weprin: "My ex-girlfriend used to rescue dogs. Any and all dogs that she could get her hands on she would rescue. Every time she would rescue a dog, I ended up taking care of them. One dog, named Isaac Pincus, was a very ancient, hunched dog. He came with the name Peanut, but I renamed him Isaac Pincus. He was deaf, hunched, ancient, and blind. I could call him anything, he wouldn't come anyway. When I walked Isaac Pincus, women would go nuts, lots of flirtation. I was out with Isaac Pincus once, and this very attractive woman walks into a deli. She goes to pet the dog, but Isaac Pincus is almost blind, so he hunches away when he sees her shadow. She said, 'Not even dogs like me.' I said, 'No, no, no, he's partially blind.' I picked him up and she starts petting him and says, 'I guess that's better,' and walks away. She's in the aisle getting something and I realize Isaac Pincus had a huge erection. I said, 'Miss, if it makes you feel any better, he certainly appreciated the petting.' She screamed, 'Yes! At least the dog likes me.' The guy in the deli proceeded to turn every shade of red."

"Different dogs attract different people. I would walk another dog I had partial custody of, Nikita. She is drop-dead gorgeous. When I walk Nikita, every man in the Village would make a pass at me. One night I had one man come up to me and say, 'That is such a nice dog,' and he got down low and started petting her, and this went on and on. He told me he lived close and asked if I wanted to come upstairs. I said, 'I don't think my girlfriend would appreciate that.' He said, 'She doesn't have to know.' I said, 'But I'll know.' Great---another block I can't walk down with Nikita."

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman


Andrew Pratt, 28; dog runner, performer and musician; Williamsburg, Brooklyn; and Cairo
"It's my job to pick up dogs during the day and run with them. I get a lot more interest and looks from women when I am with one of these dogs than I do when I'm flying solo. Different dogs attract different women. This guy [Cairo] is a total alpha male who attracts the same kind of woman who would go for your jock or frat boy. Golden retrievers attract your girl next door---a nice girl who is looking for a nice guy."

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman


Seiko Machin, 39, dog walker, Lower East Side; and Maximus and Moose
"I had just picked up a Labrador retriever [to walk]. Super cute. The dog's name is Hudson; he's the cutest thing you have ever seen. I was walking around the block and, of course, he is a total chick magnet. So these two girls walk up. One of them is totally enamored with Hudson. You know when you get the vibe that someone is checking you out? I was totally being checked out by this girl. In another world, maybe...but I have a girlfriend. My girlfriend is a dog walker too, and she gets hit on all the time."

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman


Shana Prieto, 29, housewife, Gramercy; and Maddie
"I feel like having a dog is an excuse to come over and talk to me. Especially on the street, guys will pretend that they are interested in [Maddie], but I don't think they are. Sometimes in the dog park you will see a man walking around and you just assume he has a dog. One started asking me questions about my dog, and I asked, 'Which dog is yours?' He said, 'Oh I don't have a dog.' That's kind of weird, why are you in here? About six years ago I started dating someone that I met here at the dog park. Just for a few months. He was a dog owner that was here with his pug. He moved away and I got custody of the dog run [Laughs]. I'm married now. When my husband walks her, I always say, 'Be careful of the girls because [Maddie] is a cute dog!'"

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman


Tommaso Antico, 28, actor, Flatiron; and Harley
"The first day I came here [Madison Square Park dog run] ti was very late at night and there was this guy who was really friendly. I got to know his dog. We were talking about jewelry and he said he was a jewelry designer. I gave him my e-mail, which was the wrong thing to do. I was very naive. I just didn't know, because I was a new owner. So this guy e-mailed me: 'Our dogs played nice together. Why don't we meet up in the park?' I didn't even respond. He was trying to set something up using the dogs for a playdate. Then I ran into him and pretended I never got the e-mail."

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman


Ben Hendrickson, 38, personal trainer and rock-climbing instructor, Chelsea; Sara Jarrett, 33, dog trainer, Chelsea; and Sadie and Porter, right
Hendrickson: "Sometimes people do run over and say, 'You have the most beautiful dogs in the world,' and they really want to chat. You never know whether or not that is going to potentially lead to something else. But, of course, since I am married I always head it off right there."
Jarrett: "Of course."

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman


Tommy Mendes, 40, photographer, West Village; and Charlotte
"I get a puppy every spring, walk it for three months then get rid of it. Get one right around April, then start walking the West Village with a little puppy. [Laughs] The truth really is I had two dogs: A Boston terrier, black and white, really cute, but all the girls went for my Lab. The Lab: full-on play. The ladies go for the dog and I'm in competition with them.

"[When you're picking someone up] you have to have the lead-off question ready. What you really want to know is how she got her dog, because that is when the boyfriend line will come in---'Oh, my boyfriend and I decided to get a dog'---and then you know it's over."

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman


Nick Reilly, 37, writer, Tribeca; and Iggy
"A friend of mine was in a park in Hoboken and she has a rescued pit bull. It's a little pit bull--greyhound mix who had given birth to puppies before she rescued her. So she was kind of big in the genital area. Some guy actually walked up to my friend and said, 'She has a huge vagina.' My friend didn't know what to say. What did he want her to say? 'Just like her old lady.' She just said thank you and he asked her if she wanted to grab a drink. She said, 'I don't think so.'"


Rafaele Rivera
Rafaele Rivera