I have to admit, I’m one of those types who sometimes ascribes human characteristics to our animal pals.  For instance, if I put on the Pheremoans’ ‘It Still Rankles’ and my lab-mutt mix starts hopping around the room, I think to myself, ‘yeah, we agree — this is as good as ‘Dragnet'”, when in fact, he really just wants to go for a walk (and/or tear the squirrel on the front lawn to pieces). So when I spotted Coffee (above) sitting in front of Citi Field’s main entry on prior occassions, my first thought wasn’t, “some asshole is exploiting this innocent critter”, but rather, “hey, a dog that dresses just like me”.

OK, so I was a little naive.

The folks behind the ‘Stop Abusing Coffee‘ Facebook page have long insisted the dog was far from a willing participant in these panhandling exercises and was probably being restrained by a shock collar of sorts.    The above photograph, published last night, would seem to bear that out.   Though the Mets have shown a cavalier attitude in the past to the suffering of their human fans (and a somewhat sketchy history when it comes their awareness of dog issues), here’s hoping Citi Field security can take a break from harassing cheap seat ticketholders wishing to move to the acres of empty chairs on the field level and address exactly what’s happening a stone’s throw from the ballpark’s front door.