There are a lot of reasons I love living in San Diego. Obviously, the weather is a huge draw- although the monoseason climate gets a little depressing come autumn when I miss the fall foliage, I’m grateful for it a month or two later when my New England relatives are posting on Facebook about the three feet of snow they had to shovel out of the driveway. And yes, we have some of the finest Mexican food in the United States (taquitos from Albertos at 3 am for the win!) I love our zoo and the beaches and the ability to walk into any place in the city in a pair of jeans and not feel underdressed.
But one of the nicest unintended treasures of living here is the fact there is a very large pet loving contingent here. There’s no shortage of dog parks dotting the county. We have at least 4 public beaches that allow dogs. There are hundreds of rescue volunteers and people willing to go to the mat to help a pet in need. There’s a reason we are 2010′s most dog-friendly city.
I go to as many pet related community events as I can, mostly because it’s fun and I enjoy it, and I usually learn about some new store or service I should be trying out. There are always more people there than I was anticipating, pit bulls and chihuahuas and Cavalier King Charles spaniels all hanging out, enjoying the sunshine.
This weekend I went with the family to the Doggie Street Festival, billed as “Southern California’s Largest Dog Adoption Focused Festival.” This kind of event is a vital component of a pet friendly community: a fun festival, free to the public and to all the non-profit groups who come with their adoptable pets. It makes pet rescue and education a family friendly party that just happens to accomplish the task of bringing pets and people together.
They got a cherry location: just across the street from our baseball field Petco Park, on a game day when tons of families would be wandering by.
Perhaps one such family might look over towards the Convention Center, and reminisce fondly that one week ago the place was full of people in ill-fitting Superman costumes at Comic-Con. Never a dull moment here.
And then, as their eyes travel to the left, they see a sea of colorful tents propped up next to the Convention Center. That looks inviting, they think.
They wander over, attracted by the kettle corn sign. And then we have them.
The biggest Great Dane they’ve ever seen!
Pugs in hats!
Frenchies being adorable!
So as the family wanders through the sea of cute, they see the other happy dogs strolling around with “Adopt Me!” vests on. It plants a seed.
And then they see him:
So precious! He gets back on the ground, and then they notice it.
Where’s his front legs?
So they ask, and find out this little guy was born without front legs. He had a great owner who unfortunately lost her home and was no longer able to care for this happy, charming little guy who has managed to get along quite marvelously on his back legs for the entirety of his six years. In my mind’s made-up narrative, this imaginary family snatches him up on the spot.
Last year’s Doggie Street Festival saw 130 pets get forever homes. I sure hope this little guy is going to be a 2011 success story. I’m so grateful to live in a community that values pets the way I do. Do you live in a pet-friendly town?