When I first heard someone mention Park Slope's “Ghost Dog,” I pictured a homeless Forest Whitaker doing some weird Samurai shit in Prospect Park. Of course the truth ended up being much cooler: Ghost Dog, as most long-time Park Slope residents know, is a large but docile dog of the Cane Corso variety who has lived in the park for who the hell knows how long. Often seen running along the paths, the large brown dog would occasionally come out of the woods to play with other animals, yet tended to shy away from pesky humans (I can’t blame him for that, since I tend to shy away from humans too).
This past week, the legendary dog was captured and taken out of Prospect Park for good. Luckily, this was done for Ghost Dog’s own health, and not as part of some malicious plan to make him into a fur coat or something else of that nature. Recently, Sean Casey of Sean Casey Animal Rescue, one of the many people who take it upon themselves to ensure that animals in Prospect Park are safe, noticed that Ghost had begun walking with a limp. Even more worrisome was that the notoriously guarded dog was seen spending more time in the open around humans, and acting less defensive.
“I think ultimately he made the decision at the end of the day,” Casey told the Windsor Terrace Patch. “I think he was saying, you know, it’s time.”
With the help of a local man who fed Ghost Dog every morning at 6am in the Vanderbilt Playground, Casey set up a trap and accomplished the feat few thought possible: he captured the elusive Ghost Dog. While Ghost ate, Casey and his team formed a circle around him. Two hours later, they had him in the van and off to the vet. Yeah, it took them two fucking hours. Also, they needed to use two catch poles and rope. Ghost Dog may have been ready for domestication, but he wasn’t going to go down without a fight (maybe he was doing some Samurai shit in the woods to prepare).
As Casey suspected, Ghost Dog had an injured knee as well as OCD (a bone ailment in dogs, not to be confused with the crazy ailment in people). He also had Lyme disease, probably from all the ticks in the park (another reason why I’m an indoor person, but I digress). Ghost Dog is currently undergoing medical treatment and training, which must suck for a dog used to living wild and free. Good luck telling him he can’t go poop whenever and wherever he wants anymore.
Eventually Casey will help Ghost Dog find the right home, one in which he’ll be cared for like the living legend that he deserves. As Bob Ipcar of FIDO pointed out, he may be an awesome legend with a cool name, but he’s also an animal in need of a good home.
If you want to help Ghost Dog and the other animals cared for by Sean Casey Animal Rescue, you can make a tax-deductible donation on his website. And in the meantime, we invite you FiPSTERS to share your own Ghost Dog stories in the comments below.