Me And My Dog

Esty, our Australian-cattle-dog-mix came into our lives at the start of the pandemic in 2020 as a fluffy white burrito puppy with one black dot on her butt. She brings us joy, love, walks, play, snuggles, funk, and fun. She helps me notice and appreciate small details in our neighborhood on our daily walks. Like cactus blossoms, feral cats, juicy grass, fast-food wrappers, lonely neighbors, and the changing seasons. Do you want to share notes of your life with a puppy? I would love to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

#morningwalkswithesty - Our Neighborhood

Monday through Friday, you will find Esty and me on our morning walk through the neighborhood. Esty mostly leads the way, unless she must read the latest doggy news on a hydrant, a cactus in front of the house where the pot-bellied pig used to live, or the palm tree that – as the realtor flyer said – “once might have belonged to Hollywood Megastar Drew Barrymore". 

We leave between 7:30 and 8:30, not being the type of morning walkers, you can set your watch by. It all depends on how long we cuddle in the bed, on the number of urgent Emails in my inbox, and on whether I need a coffee first before we start.

Our neighborhood is a short bike ride from a beach at the Pacific Ocean. Its wide streets are lined with pepper, palm, and citrus trees. In our backyard, Esty guards Hummingbirds zipping back and forth between flowers, bushes, and an orange tree. Seagulls glide across the blue sky and, above them, passenger and private planes.

Most mornings we turn right and walk past the neighbor’s house where Chihuahua puppy Cloé watches from the window, then past old-timer Trixie’s place whose owner is a master at finding the exact spot where Esty needs a scratch, and past the yellow house with tomatoes and corn growing in the front yard.

Love at First Sight - How We Met Our Covid-Puppy

It was May 2020, shortly before my 56th birthday, and two months into the Covid-Pandemic. Online, we saw a family looking for homes for their litter of eight Australian-Cattle-Dog-Collie mixes. On a rare rainy day in Southern California, we drove one hour East to a small home where, on the front porch, the owner put a cardboard box in front of us. Inside soft puppy bodies huddled together, unbearably cute faces with closed eyes and short snouts next to nervously wagging tiny tails. I picked up one of them, held her in my palm, then close to my chest, which she sniffed and explored with her tiny paw. “That’s it. It’s her,” I said, and my husband agreed.

The owner took a piece of paper. “She’s the girl with the single dot on her butt,” she said, wrote down ‘S.D.B’ on a piece of paper next to our names, and pointed at a sister with two black spots on her behind. “So we do not mix them up.” During the following weeks, she sent us videos of S.D.B. tottering between towels, chasing a squeaking slice of pizza, and walking all over her siblings. “Es-De-Be,” we said, testing the sound of those letters in our mouths.

#morningwalkswithesty - Green Grass

"You like this grass?" I ask my eleven-month-old puppy.

Esty is rolling in the dark green blades, she switches back and forth from her white belly onto her brown-and-white marbled back. Her black snout digs into the dirt.

"Wait a second. Is there something stinky?" I pull the leash

"Don't worry," Esty says. "This is wonderful grass. Wet, juicy, morning grass. You should try it."

"Try what?"

"Smell it. Roll in it. Play with it. Feels good. Smells delicious."

I pull the leash again. I see no poop, no mount of dirt. Just grass. Green grass.

"What's your problem?" Esty asks "Don't be so prissy-sissy!"