Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Cat Burgular

At the beginning of summer when the temperature becomes hot but the trees, grass and scrubs are still vibrant, I met Gary at the Laurel Canyon Dog Park. He was my age, 28, sandy blonde hair, a little taller than me and totally in love with his jet black Doberman, Sheba.
Gary was anything but boring. I quickly learned that he was named Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Bachelor of the Year. 
“I have a copy in my car," he said. "Let me run and get it,” he motioned for his dog Sheba to stay while he headed to his sleek black sports car.
He returned with the well worn magazine, dog eared to the page with his photo, a full page, mind you. Dressed in a black tux, Gary was wearing white gloves and holding expensive pearl necklaces, gold jewelry dripping in diamonds and white gold pieces with colorful precious stones. His dog was in the picture too, standing at attention by his side. The caption read that he had been a notorious Beverly Hills Cat Burglar who was captured after years on the run. He spent time in prison where he became reformed and now worked for police departments throughout LA, inspecting security systems to make sure they were burglar proof.
Sheba was my look out,” he explained. “I broke into homes and she stayed behind in the car, barking if the police arrived, letting me know it was time to get out of there.” The two were quite a pair, both buff and fearless. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Heaven on earth...for dogs

This eucalyptus-scented hilly, upscale neighborhood where the park is located has been the topic of movies, books and songs. One of the most famous Laurel Canyon residents is Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors. He quickly became the most iconic, controversial, critically acclaimed and influential people in the canyon, living right behind the Canyon Country Store. 
Featuring four acres of heavenly space for dogs to romp and play, the park became one of the first dog friendly locations in Los Angeles quite by accident, thanks to the efforts of Jane Purse. Years before I found the park, Jane gathered a group of volunteers to plant shade trees there. She and the volunteers brought their dogs while they worked and soon, other dog lovers found out and brought their pets. That’s how the Laurel Canyon Dog Park got its start in the world of canine fun. All thanks to the efforts of one woman and her dog.
By the time I discovered the park, it was completely dog friendly. Although officially, the park's off leash hours were early morning and afternoon, I quickly learned that dogs and their owners came at any time to bask in the sunshine. Large metal trash cans and pooper scoopers were located throughout and areas were set up with hoses and buckets for fresh drinking water. There were no busy streets, just the winding road that lead to the park and that had a fence between the dogs and the cars. Park tables and benches beckoned dog owners to congregate while their four legged family members played with each other. I felt like I was home.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Laurel Canyon Dog Park

Many friends warned me that my relationship with Blondie bordered on insanity. I tried to cover up my craziness and deny my feelings about my dog just to avoid their nasty remarks. To them, Blondie was just a dog. To me, she was the center of my life. 
That’s when I discovered the Laurel Canyon Dog Park, a place entirely devoted to dog lovers like me and their furry best friends. The Dog Park was located at the top of Laurel Canyon built in a gully down a winding road off Mulholland Drive. At any time of the day, there were at least 20 people at the park, their dogs happily roaming off leash, catching Frisbees and balls and playing chase with each other, many visiting on a daily basis. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pigs, goats and snakes

My year ended with the Video Dating service and I decided not to renew. I heard many marriages were created from simple newspaper ads. At 34, what did I have to lose? My ad said something to the effect of me being an animal lover. And within just a few hours of publication, I had 197 messages in my mail box.
“Hello, I’m calling about your ad, I have a pot bellied pig and a goat and I am a real animal lover…”
“I live with my parents and we have this dog we need to train to stop pissing in the house. I wanted to know if you could help…”
“Hi. I have 13 dogs and 5 cats and I’m answering your ad…”
“I like your ad. Do you like snakes? I have lots of snakes.”
couldn't listen to any more. I felt completely overwhelmed. So I just erased them all.
“Blondie, why can’t I meet a man who has a job and a dog. One dog?” She looked up at me and wagged her tail. “You would think I was going after a completely unattainable goal.” I took a deep breath and let out a sigh. Instead of crying, I serenaded Blondie with a new rendition of our song that I made up on the spot. “You and me against the world, why can’t it be you me and he against the world?”  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fortune teller

Although I didn't meet the man of my dreams at Great Expectations, I did convince a friend of mine to join. She was a petite blonde who, like me, really wanted to settle down and get married. However, unlike me, she ended up marrying a very creative, talented and successful screenwriter through Great Expectations. She was 34 years old when they walked down the aisle and they had two children together. Maybe that fortune teller had her future in mind, not mine.
Thank God for Blondie. No matter what, I always looked forward to coming home to her little face with the black wet nose during this period of intense dating. The men came and went. Blondie stayed.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

If the jeans fit

One man I dated was Alex. I failed to look closely at the height section of his Great Expectations bio and when he showed up at my apartment, he was significantly shorter than me. Shortness didn't seem to bother him in the least. He was an anesthesiologist, (a job hallelujah!), and had an awesome body, toned arm and leg muscles with six-pack abs plus the best looking behind I had ever seen on a man in a pair of jeans. Alex thought I needed to be in better shape by exercising with him and he didn't hesitate to let me know that.
One time while waiting for our table at a local restaurant, he actually grabbed my biceps and said: “Sturdy stock,” as if he was buying livestock. He also gave me a birthday present of clip-on earrings failing to notice or ask about my pierced ears. At least he gave me a present, I thought to myself. But when he had me ride his bicycle along Sunset Blvd. in the dark of night as he jogged beside me, I knew this would not work out. Even on his bike, I couldn't keep up with him. Plus, dodging the traffic was a nightmare!