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Dog-level spigots eyed for Alley Pond

"I saw it available in Central Park, and I thought that's a great idea," said Richard Rosenfeld, a Douglaston resident and owner of two chocolate Labs that he often walks near the soccer fields in the southeastern corner of Alley Pond Park.The park is a favorite spot for dog owners, and in the summer particularly pups can get exhausted in the heat without water."You'll see people with gallon-sized bottles, and with dogs that becomes an issue where it's almost never enough," Rosenfeld said.He said existing water fountains can be adapted to add a spigot at a dog's level that the owner can step on to give thirsty dogs a cool stream of water.Parks spokeswoman Abigail Lootens said the agency was open to the idea but would have to evaluate how feasible it is and how it would be funded.Dog water fountains would also prevent taller pooches from climbing onto those made for humans."You and I might think that's cute. Other people think that's repulsive," Rosenfeld said.That technique was favored by one dog found in Alley Pond Park on a recent afternoon. Although the owner did not wish to be identified, the dog's name was Sabrina."She jumps right up on the fountain that exists right now," the owner said. "I also bring ice water."Sabrina's owner said the foot-level doggie fountains would be a boon for many people who walk their dogs in Alley Pond.There is even an organized group, the Alley Pond Pet Lovers, who walk their dogs in the park by the dozens on weekend mornings. The group signed petitions in support of the doggie fountain plan.Rosenfeld said he went to the Parks Department with the idea and was told he needed community support. Elected officials have said they will back the idea, and he brought the proposal to Community Board 11 last month.District Manager Susan Seinfeld, who occasionally walks her dog in Alley Pond Park and needs to bring water bottles along, said turning the plan into reality might hinge on getting private funding since the Central Park fountains are funded by the Central Park Conservancy.Reach reporter John Tozzi by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 174.

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