Cookie just crumbles when she gets some chopped liver on top of her dog food. Photo by Heather Dubin
BY HEATHER DUBIN | Cookie is no stranger to the Tompkins Square Park dog run. David Joffe, who has lived in the same apartment in the East Village for 37 years, takes Cookie, a 10-year-old collie-German shepherd mix, outside for two-hour stretches, three times a day.
On a recent weeknight, Joffe was amongst a handful of dog owners chatting and bundled up against the cold while their pooches played in the park.
“I’m known to spend time here at the dog run,” he said.
Joffe is a flea market vendor and has worked at street fairs. His wares are season-dependent, from gloves and hats to costume jewelry and T-shirts.
“I like to sell funny items, like a peeing boy,” he said. “You fill him with water and he pees. I can’t find them anymore.”
Cookie benefits from Joffe’s flexible schedule, which allows him freedom during the week to bring her to the park for long jaunts.
“I like to keep her out for two hours because, otherwise, I feel guilty,” he said.
Cookie, who is Joffe’s third dog, is a rescue dog from the North Shore Animal League America.
The organization has mobile units for off-site adoption that circulate in Manhattan and the tri-state area, with about 45 animals onboard.
“I love Cookie,” Joffe said. “She’s very friendly to everybody, and she’s easygoing in the house.”
Uninhibited, Cookie approaches random people regularly to be pet by them. Joffe admits that he has met a lot of women through Cookie, but none of these encounters have yielded a relationship.
One of Cookie’s favorite foods is chopped liver.
“Oy, she likes chopped liver,” Joffe said. He puts it on top of her dog food.
When she was younger, Cookie was much more active, but these days she is pretty sedate — unless it comes to protecting Joffe. At a street fair a few years ago, Cookie allegedly bit a police dog accompanying a police officer inspecting vendors.
The cop looked underneath Joffe’s table, where Cookie was resting, and she reacted to the police dog. According to Joffe, he does not know if Cookie did bite the dog, but the officer claimed she did.
“If you harm a police dog, it’s the same thing as harming a cop,” Joffe said. “I thought I might be arrested, and get into trouble.” Instead, he was told to wait until the officer reported the incident.
Finally, at the end of the fair, Joffe was allowed to leave without penalty, but not before posing with Cookie for a “mugshot” on the spot.