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I’m sure that some people have their backs up just reading the article title here; so many of us have an ongoing love affair with our pets that referring to them as “animals,” is just plain insulting.
My college roommate tells a story about how her stepmom would set a place at the table for her little dog, Heir Hound…yep, Mr. Dog sat at the dinner table every night and slopped down his food with the family. My roommate, naturally, found this unnatural and embarrassing, especially when her friends would drop by for dinner at her home. Her stepmother, however, found it normal and my roommate’s father, a prominent doctor, said nothing when his colleagues sat at supper with them—and Heir Hound
After dinner, Heir Hound would perform love acts with his favorite blanket in the middle of the living room floor while guests sat with reddened faces, (as did my poor roommate) but stepmom seemed to ignore the performance as part of her, “isn’t he cute?” mentality.
I would put that story in the category of “going way to far for my dog,” but dogs, especially, are so loved that people often lose sight of the fact that their dog is a dog, after all. This particular pooch was a San Francisco Bay Area pooch, and I’m not doubting for a minute that many of my readers can even relate to the beloved, now deceased, Heir Hound. Here in Carmel, where dogs reign supreme, people take their dogs literally everywhere with them.
There is a dog fountain in the center of town, built to recognize the citizens of Carmel’s love of the four-footed creatures. Carmel’s Beach is dog-friendly; dogs can run on the beach under voice command, without leash. Many hotels here are dog-friendly, The Cypress Inn most likely the most well-known pooch-palace, allows dogs not only in the rooms but in the area directly outside the restaurant-bar where one can sip a cocktail or eat a meal with puppy by your feet.
Dog Friendly Carmel Beach—Photo by Chika
My husband takes me to the Cypress regularly so that I can get my “dog fix.” Since we travel so much, we can’t have a dog right now and I miss having a little guy in the house; so, I sit with my glass of wine at The Cypress and ooh and aah over other people’s furry children. It works, I guess, but when I see a particularly adorable doggy, my husband has to hold me to my chair to prevent me from doing the snatch-and-run with the little fellow.
Carmel’s Dog Fountain–Photo by Maggiejp
Meanwhile, I have my kitty. She is fuzzy and very prissy and, like most cats, quite haughty. Where dogs welcome guests, jumping around in excitement to see guests in the house, my cat looks at the guest like an intruder and, if I could read her mind, I’m sure she’s thinking, “Who are you and why are you in my house?” Samantha the cat is very much into her solitude. She only jumps up to be with me alone, cozy at my feet when I read or write on my bed, and meowing as if someone is killing her when she feels it’s time for her evening meal and I’m lagging way behind.
Sammy in the angel Garden—Photo by Shay Davidson
Sammy has a special penchant for my “angel garden,” a special reading and writing corner on my deck where angel statues and figurines peek out from between the plants and sit perched along the rail. The cat is not stupid; she loves to nuzzle a particular angel that holds a, yes, wait for it…CAT! It’s as if she knows.
Sammy with her angel with cats—Photo by Shay Davidson
So San Francisco Bay Areans love affair with our pets goes on. Call me certifiable, but I used to travel with my cat and walk her on a leash along the shores of Lake Tahoe when all of the dogs were in for the night. I’m sure the neighbors thought I was nuts, but I haven’t seen any of them in years, yet my furry friend is still at my side or on my lap constantly!
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