Many residents of Hayes Valley flock to this growing neighborhood because of its great sense of community, but as many of the more seasoned tenants in the neighborhood know, it hasn't always been that way. It's taken years of hard work and love to get to where we are: a thriving mecca of diverse, creative and caring individuals who choose to put their time and effort into cultivating a true home here.
One such individual is Brian Wickersham, who's been living in H.V. for 17 years. Three years ago, he and his husband Shuji adopted a bright and affectionate German Shepherd mix puppy named Uni. Before long, daily walks to Patricia's Green brought not only new relationships with fellow dog lovers, but concern for the shape of the park and surroundings. Brian took to Facebook to give himself, and his new acquaintances, a platform to share experiences, ideas, and of course some incredibly adorable puppy photos.
Hayes Valley Dog Buddies was born.
The group, which currently boasts 52 members, has become a sounding board of all sorts for local doggy families. They’ve been joining forces for years to help make the communal park spaces of the neighborhood a clean, safe, and fun environment. Taking the lead from Brian, the group has written letters regarding the once overflowing trash bins of Patricia’s Green, the terrible shape of the grass, and the dangers of the traffic on Octavia.
As a direct result of their efforts, the previously overlooked space has gotten an abundance of extra attention from the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department. Budget cuts be damned, Brian has even proposed getting out with the group to lay new grass on their own.
Fortunately, the city took notice as well. The entire southern patch of grass was fertilized and sequestered for several weeks - allowing full, thick, fresh grass to come in. We look forward to the other half of the park getting this treatment soon!
Hayes Valley Dog Buddies come together for everything from puppy birthday parties to medical concerns and updates, dog walker and vet services to asking for help through hardship. They pet-sit for each other, help with errands, share tips on great trails, and of course show off photos of their mega-cute pups.
If you have a dog, or are considering adoption, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better support system than the Dog Buddies. They are warm, welcoming, informative, and motivated. List your favorite doggy spots below, and get involved with HVDB!