New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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Pups in the park

Washington Square Park may be at the center of NYU’s campus, but it is also the stomping grounds for many dog walkers and their adorable pets.
Logan O’Connor
Washington Square Park is a spot often inhabited by our furry friends. (Logan O’Connor for WSN)

You’ve heard it before: Washington Square Park is the heart of NYU. It’s where students go to picnic, read a book, people-watch, ponder their looming quarter-life crisis or just have a moment to themselves. What keeps the heart of the park beating, though, are the dogs frolicking in the afternoon sun alongside their quirky owners.


Buster, a visually-impaired 6-year-old mix of poodle and Brussels Griffon, with a hint of Chihuahua most noticeable in his ears, is adorably tiny and stayed quietly beside his owner Steven on the bench. Although new to Manhattan, Buster feels more comfortable interacting with people in the park than on a noisy street.

“He can’t see,” Steven said. “So when his paws hit the surface, he knows he’s in the park and relaxes.”

A man with white hair, a white hoodie, blue puffer and sunglasses holds a small beige dog with a green collar.
(Logan O’Connor for WSN)

Georgia, a 4-year-old golden retriever, is the park’s bestest girl and enthusiastically requests — and receives — pets and belly rubs from every person passing by. For a special Sunday like Easter, Georgia wore a floral knit bandana with her leash and harness.

“We come here because she loves watching the squirrels,” Joyce, Georgia’s owner, said. “We’ll just stay here, and I’ll read a book, and she’ll watch the squirrels for hours.”

A woman with a long, beige coat, brown hair, and white hat holds out her large, blonde, fluffy dog’s leash.
(Logan O’Connor for WSN)

Carl, a 14-year-old mixed-breed dog, and his owner Laeri like Washington Square Park because it is a space for them to sit and take a break from the rest of their day. While Laeri has more of a colorful fashion sense, he told us that Carl doesn’t really wear a lot of accessories.

“He’s not a fancy dog,” Laeri said.

A man in dark pants, dark-colored striped shirt, and black beret sits on a black bench petting a big light beige dog.
(Logan O’Connor for WSN)

To Jeremy, Washington Square Park is a representation of New York, and the spacious dog areas for his 2-and-a-half-year-old Australian shepherd, Bear, are quite the plus. Jeremy tends to visit the Washington Square Park Dog Run and Robin Kovary Dog Run for Small Dogs, and Bear loves both.

“We vibe on the same frequency,” Jeremy said. “My hat matches his leash.”

Two men posing with a dog at a park. One man stands in a black and gold jacket, white shirt, and black pants while the other squats in khaki pants and a black puffer, next to the medium-sized brown dog.
(Logan O’Connor for WSN)

Rich’s dog, Buddy, a 12-year-old Labrador retriever-mix, is a rescue. He’s a family pet, and Rich’s daughter occasionally likes dressing Buddy up with accessories. Despite it being a crowded Sunday, Rich enjoys the liveliness and variety that the park offers.

“Everything is different — every time you walk in the park is different,” Rich said. “You don’t know what’s going on till you get here.”

A man in a dark blue suit holds a blue leash and is looking at a large, dark brown dog.
(Logan O’Connor for WSN)

Contact Katie Liao at [email protected].

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