One of my more obscure (so I thought) posts gathered a lot of attention this weekend. “Dog Day Afternoon,” which I originally posted on April 12, 2o10, was rediscovered thanks to a Facebook page dedicated to the plight of that sad little pand-handling mutt who is propped up outside Citi Field before each Mets home game. In the process, it more than doubled the previous single day traffic record of Off the Foul Pole.
I referenced the poor pooch in my post last year, casting him as a metaphor for the 2010 Mets — destined to be mired in the dog days of summer. I was right about the Mets’ fate, which grew uglier and grimmer well past last summer. As for the curious canine, whose name happens to be Coffee, I didn’t realize at the time that he’d become a fixture at Citi Field and eventually, a cause celebre for animal rights activists around the world. It is nothing short of cruel to confine this dog, dressed like a clownish Mets fan from Rego Park, to his usual spot at the bottom of stairs to the 7 train. I’m not sure what the purpose is other than some coward’s way of panhandling incognito while his dog endures public humility.
I commend those who are fighting the good cause for Coffee. But one of their dubious strategies is to get a petition of 5,000 signatures to pressure lawmakers into saving the dog from further humiliation. If those “lawmakers” are city councilmen, this seems like a slow and wasteful process. Lawmakers in Queens can’t even get the roads repaved or enforce zoning laws in historic neighborhoods.
Another strategy is urging people to contact the Mets. Good luck with that. The Mets have a few other pressing issues to deal with — and besides, look how long it took them to get rid of those two other dogs, Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo.
How about if you just catch the dog’s owner in the act and expose the cruel bastard? The guy has to come around at least twice on game days to set up shop and escape into the night. If that doesn’t work, then get the ASPCA and PETA to pressure the Mets into encouraging the NYPD to take action. I gotta believe the Mets would oblige as they could do without any more PR snafus. And if they can’t get the dog safely removed from the premises, the least they could do is offer him a comfy seat behind home plate.