The Literary Dogs of Silvia Park

By Ricky Kupferer

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The Literary Dogs of Silvia Park
Five little dogs belonging to Jim & Lori
I’ve lived in Topanga for 33 years but I’ve only recently (in the days of COVID-19) started to walk twice a day. This has enabled me to meet a lot of my neighbors and their dogs. Topanga is known for having interesting, artistic, musical, and literary residents, so it was no surprise to me that we also have several “literary dogs."
Cherry Pie
The first literary dog I met was Holden, Nora’s amiable, sweet-natured Labradoodle who has none of the discontent or cynicism of his literary namesake (Holden Caulfield from J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye”). Holden has a large, beautiful white brush of a tail and loves everyone, especially little children.

The next literary dog I met, Atticus, was named for a lawyer, one of America’s favorite characters in “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch. He’s an adorable (and crazy) Weimariner pup with huge feet, the spooky-pale eyes of his breed and a totally irrepressible nature. Every time I see him, I pet him which always engenders kisses and chaos.
Dodger lives right next door to me with his human companion, Tieg, who named him after the Artful Dodger (from Dickens’ “Oliver Twist”). He’s a straightforward kind of dog, aGerman shepherd mix, who loves to explore, ride in the truck and be with Tieg.

Another literary canine wishes to remain anonymous because of privacy issues. Who knew dogs have privacy issues? He’s friendly and distinctively marked and nothing like the character he was named for.
Nala (The Lion King), another Labradoodle, a feminine version of Holden, represents the Hollywood glitterati, who wears dainty little booties for her walks.

I thought  actress, poet, and author (“Dogs in Topanga” and many more), Jane Marla Robbin’s adorable fluff ball, Dancer, would surely have a literary name based on his elaborate bathroom moves but she said those moves made her think of ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Charlie & Dodger
Charley, a four-month-old terrier-lab mix with four white paws is an incorrigible whirling dervish of puppy mischief and energy. She and her humans, Haley and Matt, are new to Topanga. While she may not have been intentionally given a literary moniker, she could have been named for a beloved  best seller of 1962, John Steinbeck,’s “Travels with Charley.”
Like Charley, not all Topanga dogs are literary dogs. Two little cuties, Shylo and Spartan, live down the road from Charley. At first, I thought their names were historical ones, not literary, but they're human, Nancy, said they’re neither, just names that had come to her.

At the other end of the street, Oscar and Barbara live with their deceptively cute little dog, Snoopy. He looks very cute but watch out! He might bite if you touch him.
Milo & Emilio
Hilary, a historian from Louisiana, has two dogs, a sweet older one named Polkin, and Bingo, a little French bulldog/chihuahua mix shaped like a spark plug. Polkin was named for a character in Lord of the Rings, and Bango for a New Orleans Blues singer.
David and Natasha live nearby with Lady and Vishnu, their two big Labrador pups. They are friendly and always wet because they love to play in the fountain and mud. Lady was recently seen playing with some bobcat kittens.
Shilo & Spartan
Other memorable dogs are Bailey, Heidi’s graceful Doberman who prances like a ballerina (without booties); Tilly, a tiny 14-year-old poodle/pug mix with a fashionable, silky haircut I wish I could replicate; and Cherry Pie, an older lab mix who is as sweet as her name.

Recently, on my morning walk, I met two Australian Shepherds, Ernie, who has striking coloration on his face and a soulful expression, and his older, less sociable brother, Milo.

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