We want a dog so bad we've taken to following strangers in the street in the hope that they'll stop at the “don’t walk sign” and let us pet Fido. One may wonder why we haven't run to the shelter to adopt one yet. The official reason we give the weary stranger towering over us while we crouch down to scratch his pit bull’s head is that our landlord doesn't allow pets. But truth be told, our common sense buckles at the idea of having to walk a hyperactive mutt called Schnitzel at 4AM when we just barely managed to crawl back home from the Orbit Room. Fortunately there is a heaven for lazy dog lovers and it is called Alamo Square.

At the south-west corner of the park is a patchy stretch of grass and dirt and two large wooden logs that serve as benches. Come lunchtime on a weekday, the place turns into a doggy Brigadoon. Suddenly groups of dogs appear from every direction. Giddy from being leashed, they roam freely down the gentle slope. If we just sit there on the bench and pretend to read a book (with dogs as with humans, we’ve learned it's important to play hard-to-get) an eager pooch is bound to come running and present us with a wet tennis ball. This is the crucial moment when the attentive dog walker apologizes and informs us that you don't have to throw that soggy ball, and we nonchalantly answer that we don’t mind.

If you want to repeat our experience, know that the magic hour strikes between 1:00 and 2:30pm on weekdays. At that time the dogs are brought mainly by dog walkers and there is always an eager Labradoodle or two in need of extra human attention. Bottom line, Alamo Square allows you to see that unconditional love glisten in a pug’s treat-searching eyes without having to pick-up its shit in see-through plastic bags. Be prepared to wear a rain coat for the drool.

Alamo Square
South-West corner
Hayes Street and Scott Street
Mon-Friday 1PM to 2:30PM

By SFist Natacha