For the Love of Dogs, Part II

The Canyon ChronicleBy The Canyon Chronicle

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For the Love of Dogs, Part II
Max, who now rides shotgun, changed his life and Michael’s.
Max It’s true what they say. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like with a dog before one finds you, but it’s even harder to imagine what life without a dog would be like once one does. Max and I found each other on a cross country trip in Illinois. His previous owner didn’t have the time or energy to keep this working boy busy. So he jumped in my truck and has been sitting shotgun ever since. Last summer he joined me as a wilderness ranger along the John Muir Trail in the Sierra National Forest, and this summer we have found ourselves living amongst even equal natural splendor in Topanga Canyon, working with local contractors. Every morning we wake together and greet the day with thanks and gratitude, and for Max, a good squirrel chase! We couldn’t be happier. Thanks for coming along for the ride Max! —Michael Sax

Miss Snifferton

Miss Snifferton
Everyone loves Miss Snifferton!
My name is Bella, but my mom calls me Miss Snifferton. She started taking me everywhere when I turned 14. I’m in the backpack when we go to the farmers market. I love our hikes, and for an old lady, I can still impress the squirrels with a brisk four-miler. I like to sniff a lot, and my mom and dad like to walk fast, so we compromise.When my mom takes me to the gym, sometimes she lets me out of the crate and everyone loves me. I love the lady with the long nails, she really knows how to give a good neck rub. Thanks mom, for adopting me.
Love, Bella
—Shannon Lieder


Melody was picked up on the side of the freeway by Animal Control, mostly hairless due to major flea infestation when she was four or five months old. When I saw her in the cage at the shelter she was unresponsive but I thought that when she gets her hair back she might look like Bunny my precious dog who had passed away. Now, in photos you can’t tell them apart although Melody weighs 54 pounds and Bunny weighed 70 pounds. I’ve never had to actually train Melody, she just seems to know. Maybe Bunny is communicating with her. I feel all my animals are connected and I’m so lucky to have them in my life.

—Skipper Farley
Melody was rescued and healed by her mistress and, in turn, healed her when she was grieving the loss of Bunny.

My name is Willie...

My name is Willie...
Willie is small but feisty andleaves p-mails for her boyfriend every day on her walk.
...and I’m a girl, a very cute mix of long-haired Chihuahua and some bigger and burlier dog. I am an expert in glomming onto, clinging to and owning my human support staff. My specialty is injecting myself into their activities, and in this photo I am functioning as a mobile phone stand. I am friendly with all the big dogs unless they try to run me over with their clumsy galumphing big-dog paws or slobber on my beautiful, shiny coat. Then I get in their face and they back off fast. I have a crush on a hunky black Lab down the road and p-mail him every day. My street is often blessed with fresh organic horse cookies and sometimes I snack on one. Life is good!

—Tom and Alexis Schneider, Fernwood

Apricot Loves Playing the Bongo Drum

My name is Apricot and I was one of those unwanted Xmas gifts. In 2013, at 6 weeks old, the person who received me as a holiday gift, dropped me off at a dog rescue place. Shortly after the new year, I was adopted by mommy, Hiva, and daddy, Iraj, who brought me to their beautiful view home in Topanga. My parents must have been special because they were selected among the 13 other applicants who all wanted to adopt me. Mommy Hiva taught me cool tricks and my favorite is playing bongo-drum. Showing off my drum playing skill and hearing people laugh gives me a great joy. I like being nicknamed “Boo-Boo” because daddy Iraj was art director at Hanna-Barbera studio and worked on Yogi Bear and other cartoon shows. Mommy and daddy always praise me as “the best doggie in the world.”

—Hiva & Iraj Paran
Apricot Loves Playing the Bongo Drum
Apricot, “the best doggie in the world,” was once an unwanted Christmas gift.

Says My Dog

Says My Dog
Dancer wrote a poem to cheer up her beloved poet, who’s having a hard time right now.
Terrible. It’s Terrible.
Everyone is so unfriendly,
thinks COVID droplets could be
sitting on my beautiful curly coat.
They’re being “careful,”
They “don’t want to die…”

I certainly don’t want my mistress to die,
she feeds me, tells me jokes –
though not so many about the virus.
Actually, none.

I’m not allowed to jump up on anybody,
or sit in anybody’s lap but hers.
People say these viruses
come from bats, pigs, fish.
Gives animals a bad name.

I’m sick of this “sheltering!” My mistress
is antsy at home, crazy, frustrated, lonely,
furious, in denial, eating too much.
It’s really not as much fun as before.

Sure, I put up a good front, it’s my job.
Actually, it’s my nature, smiling, licking
wagging, prancing. I’m a dog.
It’s in my DNA to cheer her up.

Except I know she needs people
as well as me. Strange, since mainly,
she’s enough for me – We sleep together;
run and laugh together –what more does she want?

A man? They’re only more work, she has enough now,
taking care of me and the house and herself.

Watch me, I know what it’s about:
I have someone to love; and she loves me;
I sleep or walk or run. I sit in the sun;
I smell the grasses; I have a good time.
With a virus; without a virus.
Really, she could learn a thing or two from me.

—Dancer for Jane Marla Robins
The Canyon Chronicle

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August 19, 2022