The Plague Dogs.

When I was in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago I was reminded just how seriously people take their dogs. How ludicrously serious, taking the animals not only to the places dogs were domesticated to go but shopping, to the coffee shop, and wherever else the fuck the owner intends on spending their time.

I love dogs mind you. I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback who is a physical specimen that is one year and four days old and still growing even though she can already eat out of the kitchen sink with ease. I also have a Beagle who is sufficiently portable and mostly trained though he’s kind of an asshole.

But they are dogs and they like going for rides. I do not begrudge a dog a good ride now and then. Or a trip to the dog park. Maybe, on a special day… they’ll come to get coffee with me and we’ll sit outside and relax.

But Los Angeles is stupid when it comes to dogs and there’s seemingly no rhyme or reason to the dog/owner pairings I’ve seen. Muscular tattooed shirtless men carrying tiny toy dogs. Supremely manicured and plastic women with large virtually hairless exotic dogs. People with three dogs on a leash walking like some ill informed cerberus. It’s one thing to have a dog-friendly culture but something else when everywhere you look some guy’s reading the paper with familiar under the table.

I remember back when MEG was at New Line how all the executives had their dogs in their offices like it was soemthing to be proud about. If you have a home office I understand it but when you’re at an office it’s kind of as distraction. It’s bad enough the film business over there employs an “arrive at 10″ and “leave at 4″ mentality with a two hour lunch and five coffee/smoke breaks lumped in between. Now they have to go drain their dog’s urethra and colon every hour?

Also, what about spontaneity?

“Joey, we just got tickets to the Dodgers game. They’re going to have Reggie Bannister throw the first pitch.”

“Awesome. I just have to drop my dog at the house. I live in Tarzana.”

“Joey, we’ll see you when you get there in spring training of next year.”

Dogs are great. Who doesn’t love them? But with all that in mind, Los Angles and her inhabitants need to check their pulses for a little reality.

Leave the dogs at home, people. Unless there’s truly a reason to have them with you aside from conversation piece or to showcase that you’re single and able to keep an animal from dying.

- Nick Nunziata
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And for the hell of it, a page from the very funny birthday card my art partner Andrea did for me: