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  • Writer's pictureSarahHauer

Dog City

My daughter likes to scope out various coffee shops throughout the western half of the Los Angeles suburbs. She is deeply into the modern vibe, straight line basic decor, avocado toast, more drink options than the coffee realm, and a combination of work and socialization. Every now and then she'll drag me to one of her faves.

Today, we are at La La Land Kind Cafe in Santa Monica, CA. Other than her unhappiness at being able to secure a more comfortable seat inside, we are happily ensconced at a small table with partial sun at a comfortable SoCal 60 degrees F. While she is busy looking to fulfill her dreams of the two of us living down around this area, I am procrastinating from novel writing to write this blog because of that dog barking at me. That dog, right there, in the photo, under a chair not belonging to her owner.

After asking me if I would like to live down here, to which I responded of course, who wouldn't, she informed me that she has found an available apartment literally a block from here for about $500 less per month than we pay now with a Whole Foods Market right around the corner.

"Really?" I asked surprised at the sound of a potential gem while the owner of the dog barking at me requested, "Quiet, Kaylee. None of your friends are here today." Then he looked at another cafe patron and explained, "Usually, one of her canine friends is around at this time."

I did my best to ignore Kaylee, wondering why she would be confusing me with one of her canine friends. Does my jacket smell? I don't think so. I asked my daughter, "And what kind of apartment did you find?"

"It's a studio. 400 square feet."

"How do you propose we fit into 400 square feet?" The place we live in now, way in a northwestern LA suburb is just over 1400 square feet.

"We split your bed in half."

"My bed won't fit the floor space of only 400 square feet." I have a California King. It can be split in half.

"I'll keep looking." Can't blame the girl for dreaming. I haven't stopped dreaming.

Kaylee has stopped barking but is continuing to stare at me. She and her owner are a typical pair down around these parts. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that non-dog owners are ostracized around here. I suspect if I dared to put in an application for that studio apartment on the application would be the checkmark for dog owner. If I fail to check that, no apartment for me.

Dog owners themselves are a different breed around here. Most of the dogs that have passed by us have been wearing sweaters. As I mentioned, it's 60 degrees. Ten degrees less, and I promise you, they will be wearing parkas. They have full fur. There's another over yonder with a cone on his head, probably from plastic surgery. I often, yes, often, see dogs in strollers. And not just the chihuahuas.

Almost every restaurant has a special dog menu. Most of them are secret menus. You have to be in the know to access them. There are doggie gyms for health and fitness in an area that rarely sees precipitation. Dogs here are absolutely spoiled. It makes me wonder how the wolves and coyotes that roam the streets at night feel about their canine progeny.

And what about the cats? Cat people are kind of left out in the cold around here too. My daughter owns a cat. She used to have a dog. Pepper passed on from a heart attack a few years ago. We were sad, but her cat, Friday, was ecstatic. I think cats are too good for the treatment the dogs get. They don't need it to feel fulfilled. They are more related to their animal cousins, the cougars and bobcats. They can provide for themselves and prefer it that way.

Or maybe, the cats, like me, are jealous. After all, where are their menus? Where are their workout rooms? Where are their designer fashion statements? I want that too. I want to live close to the beach every day where the sun doesn't quit except at night when the stars and the moon take over. I want to live where there is a cafe on every corner where I can sit and work at a leisurely pace.

But, you know what this place doesn't have? My family and my community. You see, I am contemplating a move in a few months because of the high cost of living in California. Prices have shot up, as it has for a lot of people all over the country. Living in SoCal is becoming more and more of a pipe dream. As much as I admire Santa Monica, I love the city I live in now even more. More important, I love Southern California.

I hope I don't end up being one of those flocking to another state because of the all-mighty dollar. The very thought saddens me. I have put down roots here that I want to keep growing. My children are growing their own roots in this area too.

I have been contemplating this move for a long time. I have been procrastinating on final decisions while searching for another solution. I keep praying a solution will present itself.

In the meantime, Kaylee and her owner have left. The coffee shop patrons have shifted individuals and seats from the warm sun to the cool shade as the air warms. Hopefully those dogs lose their sweaters before they suffocate.

I have decided it's the color of my coat Kaylee was barking at. It matches hers. Maybe she was scolding me that I was copying her choice of dress for today. No woman wants to show up to a party wearing the same outfit as another.

Is your pet overly spoiled? Does your dog belong in a place like this?

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Thanks for reading!


Humor In Chaos


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