Have you ever been to a kennel? To a pet store? To an adoption site?
Dogs make a promise, when we are choosing them. With tails wagging and noses reaching for our hands, they promise to be cute, cuddly, silly, and evenentually (perhaps) guardians. Dogs are running for pet-sident. We choose the right pet-sidents for our nation of families, and they help us make our home lives more complete.
Dogs say, "Vote for me and I'll be a good companion."
Quid pro quo, like any election platform. They pledge playfulness, cameraderie, loyalty and respect. We pledge shelter, socialization, attention and exercise.
Dogs serve us well. We should be patriotic, honoring their service by showing respect for our neighbors and neighborhoods, and caring for our pets.
A dog owner in North Hollywood has beendd neglecting his duty to scoop his dog's doodie. The elderly woman whose lawn is targeted each day asked to not be named or filmed. Okay. But her anecdotes are unsettling.
The owner purportedly lets his big, beautiful dog poop on her property, not curbed and scooped as is the law. The dog eliminates on the household side of the curb, another offensive offense, and then the mess is left for others to pick up.
The owner of this residence is a senior citizen who takes pride in her home and her yard.
Halloween night, several neighbors reported children and parents stepping in this dog's huge turds left on the lawn and pathway next door to this woman's house. That was a step in the wrong direction (from good citizenship).
The neighbors trying to parent their kids through a high adrenaline and sugar-crazed evening don't need added stinky dog poop on their shoes.
Well-trained dogs are supposed to master Canine Good Citizenship before they advance to more sophisticated tricks, skills or specialties. Maybe we should require that for people, too?
Perhaps, before you can get a driver's license, you should get a manual and take a written exam, and then play a simulated 3D game hjscoring you on how you act in certain basic situations?
And then the machine votes for you...or not.
Halloween weekend was full of fun for the little ones. But I was told that in both Studio City and Valley Village there were incidents of drivers being rude and impatient with trick-or-treaters.
Seriously? Our darkened streets are packed with five and six-year-olds on Halloween. If one of those drivers were a pet, (s)he'd be considered too dangerous for our neighborhood.
Let's treat our neighbors like they might be the ones who will save our life during an earthquake or flash flood or neighborhood fire. Because they may be the ones who will save our life during and earthquake, flash flood, or neighborhood fire.
A Nursery Rhyme in B Flat
I was driving in Sherman Oaks, on Ventura, when I witnessed a woman ignore both the elderly man and his now-graying dog in the crosswalk.
(TO BE SUNG TO THE TUNE OF "THIS OLD MAN WENT ROLLING HOME") This old man, he saved two, he played jump-back with his shoes, from a near whack from a Cadillac, he saved his doggy's bones. This old man almost rolled to his eternal home.
By any measure and for whatever reason, some citizens are flunking the Good Citizenship test. If we had to run for neighbor, though, Halloween time would have seen less selfishness, because it comes so close to election day.
None of the crazy selfish things mentioned above would have happened, because sociopaths like to win. If we had an election with high stakes? They'd do anything to win, even share, appear to care, and apologize. If that's what it took to pass a mandatory election test? Maybe we'd stand a chance by having to "run for neighbor."
The dog owner woiuld be scooping, the drivers would take a different route or just pausing generously for little trick-or-treaters, and the psycho Cadillac driver in the intersection would have stopped to let an old man and his old dog finish their arthritic journey from one curb to the other.
Dogs are usually very good neighbors. Neighbors blame the dogs, though, when one of us leaves our dog's poop for another neighbor's scoop. The elderly woman correctly put up a sign for the dog owner to read, because she understood that there was a lazy human in charge of the big dog.
Maybe we should study a manual and then be tested for common sense and how to live with others (a basic awareness of human dignity and life). Apparently an evolutionary trait that is appearing in this world of whirling technology, overpopulation, and ever redefining social roles and expectations is narcisism.
As dogs beg for your vote at adoption facilities all across the nation, imagine—just pretend for a moment—you have to "run for neighbor" in your community. If you lose the election, you'll have to trade places with a disenfranchised animal in the kennel and wait for a family to pick you.
All you'd want is freedom, and you'd be willing to do anything—even scoop up after yourself or drive thoughfully—to be taken away from that lonely, smelly, concrete cage. Can you picture that? If a family votes for you, or if a neighborhood votes for you as a good neighbor, then you'll get to live in your house or apartment and have your freedoms. Our neighborhoods would see less callous and thoghtless behaviors, because errors in neighborliness would be newsworthy and have consequences.
Okay...so now let's pretend you've just been voted a neighbor, freed from your kennel. You'll have to run again next Halloween, though, but for now you're free to live your life. Keep up a good citizenship record, so you can brag about it for next year's election. And congratulations!