March 7, 2008

First Person:

Homie Remembers Meeting Sally

By Al Carlos Hernandez

Found myself and Miss Sally at the dog park again yesterday and realized that she had just turned 3 years old and remembered the decision to get her and what a blessing she has turned out to be.

Ever since our dog “Homes” passed away many years ago of natural causes and not my cooking, we had toyed with the idea of getting another K-nine. Homes a black Labrador, an outdoor unit, lasted 17 human years. I don’t get the dog year thing and suspect the idea was conjured up by the same cat who thought up daylights savings time.

The wife and my son wanted a lap dog, but are allergic to dog dander, so our choices were limited. I wasn’t averse to getting a lap dog just as long as it wasn’t a US Senator owned by Oil Companies, or Gubernator complicit with special interests.

Our choices were small so we choose a tiny white hostess snowball of fur, with penny sized root beer eyes that could fit in the palm of your hand, named by celebrated San Franciscan Hair Designer Normand as “Miss Sally.” Miss Thing is a Bichon Fraise, which in French Means “Curly little white haired dog, who takes over your heart and turns you into a metro sexual.”

We bought Miss Sally from a breeder, for the price of 20 inch Dubs when she was five weeks old, too young to leave the kennel, we became doting surrogate parents and converted the hall bathroom into a puppy nursery.

Now I have to eat some crow here, and for our former dog Homes doing such a thing was literally no problem just as long as he could wash it down with some red Kool Aid.

Lap dogs to me have always been furry purses with eyes, sharp teeth and a shrill bark. Pet’s Mart, Petco, Pets R us or whatever was as foreign to me as visiting a Mason lodge. Miss Sally changed all that, she is a high maintenance, self absorbed little cutie with a tremendous sense of entitlement, ergo I have come to the conclusion that Sally Hernandez as the Vet calls her, is a Latina.

Who knew that puppies needed shots, special food, grooming, even a health plan?

If Homes were around he would bark at me for being a punk, and I wouldn’t blame him. Since I work at home, La Mama, has become my responsibility and am working toward house breaking her, my wife took a Puppy training class with her and got a certificate.

The men of the house were disappointed she didn’t get suspended; no doubt Homes would have been immediately expelled for sexual harassment.

The first time I walked her was difficult, she hated her collar that matched the pink leash, and found myself gently pulling her along the ground, half way through the walk around the block, tiny, fragile and winded, ended up carrying her home, so in essence she walked me.

A week later while walking we ran into a local Homeboy walking his meat terrier, wolf thing. He sees me standing there with mad dogger biker sunglasses, baseball cap with a black hood over it, holding a pink leash, at the bottom of the leash a tiny fluff of cotton white fur.

A gun slingers distance away, restraining his teeth headed mutt, He says, “What’s up Homie? I retort “Shup”… “Sabes Que your Dog is cute Son”. She is a girl Bro. “Orale”… What’s yours? “He is a designer Terrier of something, He ain’t no Pit, but he ain’t no punk”.

There is no way to float a gangster gait walk while walking a Biscon…Miss Sally was unimpressed with the confrontation wanting to jump into my warm pocket.

What bonds me to her more than anything else is that no matter what, she is really happy to see me. I sense the unconditional love, that cat lovers have been telling me for years, that I didn’t actualize until now. That being said, Miss Sally is of the opinion that cats are weak because they cannot bark nor do tricks.

Make no mistake about it, the line of cute has been drawn; no doggie clothes, no Holiday greeting cards with her in the middle, no jumping on the furniture, no, Ok she can do everything else…

I didn’t realize how lonely I was until Miss Sally came into our lives to fill a void, a void I didn’t know existed, the need to love, nurture, provide for and protect the uncomplicated innocent.

“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen”.


Al Carlos Hernandez writes from Hollywood.

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