like, oh my dog!

As I’ve written before, I love dogs. I love their friendliness, their personality, their unconditional love (as in, “I don’t know you, but if you give me a belly rub, I’ll follow you forever” or, in the case of goldens, “If you pet me, I’ll show you where my owners hide their valuables”). And I love their absolute ability to make any moment sweeter, warmer, better. Sure, not all dogs are this wonderful (we’ve all heard bad stories here and there) but, in my experience, most certainly are.

Our dog, Ilsa (named for the Casablanca character), lived for 18 years and was perfect in our eyes. In fact, she was the inspiration for the title of this blog, rice on your head (you can read that story here). An Australian shepherd / spaniel mix, Ilsa was a rescue dog who lived most of her life right here with us in the City of Angels. And while we loved her dearly and took great care of her (she never ate “people” food; she went on 4-mile walks each day; she had a dog bed that was oversized so that she had all the room she could possibly want), she was never, ever an “LA dog.”

While we no longer have Ilsa, we still take long walks as many mornings as we can, and we’re lucky enough to run into lots of neighborhood dogs, enough to satisfy my puppy fix. Some of them fit the “LA dog” designation – the too-fabulous LA that is known for its swimming pools, movie stars, glitz, and glam. (Not the LA we know and love, mind you, but the one that most people think of because, well, that’s part of it.) To wit:

First, the labradoodle we met recently that was wearing a diamond pavé collar. While scratching the dog’s ears, I commented on the collar to her owner, who explained that it was indeed real, terribly expensive, and had been given to the dog by A Very Famous TV Star (he dropped the name, I won’t) whom he had worked with for years. The dog, sitting at my feet on the sidewalk while her owner name-dropped his way through the next ten minutes, was sweet, although she, too, seemed bored with his monologue. She only agreed to leave with him when he offered a treat – one, he made sure to tell us, that had been purchased from A Very Famous Hollywood Establishment. But of course.

Next, the basset hound being shown off by his owner as we walked by, carrying out commands and appearing to love our applause. When the owner boasted that the dog took agility lessons at a very exclusive school, I asked, “Is that because of his short legs? Do the lessons make it easier for him to get around?” Wrong questions, I guess. The owner gave me a baleful stare and responded in clipped tones, “No. My dog is so intelligent that he needs to be continually challenged!” Or what – he won’t get into Harvard? OMG.

Finally, the dog that, in another life, could have played the Miranda Priestly character in The Devil Wears Prada – a perfectly coiffed miniature French poodle, pushed around in the Mercedes-Benz of strollers featuring velvet pillows and piped-in music. Diva dog wears oversized designer sunglasses (how they stay on I do not know) and, when thirsty, is served water from a crystal bowl that her owner fills with Evian and places carefully on the sidewalk. (You can’t make this stuff up.) With a click of her pedicured-pink toes, the dog then jumps from the stroller and laps up a few sips before resettling herself. All that’s missing is for the dog to utter a single bark to let its “chauffeur” know that it’s time to move on. Miranda would be proud.

Seen and scene. In LA.

©2022 Claudia Grossman

5 comments on “like, oh my dog!

  1. Loved it. Maybe we will all come back as pampered dogs?????????

  2. Great story! My first thought was hoping they didn’t have “work done “ on their doggy face, lol.

  3. This might just be my favorite “write” of all. I was teaching Mah Jongg in LA in private club and JUST returned. I am falling apart as it is too too real and hysterical.

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