Other Voices: Bow-wow


Town Crier File Photo
A Starbucks patron hangs out in front of the downtown Los Altos coffee shop with three canines close by in this photo from 2015.

In today’s world, there is a growing amount of hand-wringing and worse regarding the widening divide between Americans. While reading horrendous headlines during my morning coffee at street-side java joints around town, I’ve noticed a positive sign among the negativity: Communication is increasing.

The interchange isn’t necessarily occurring between members of the blue team and the red team, Gen Z and the Greatest Generation, the hills and the flatlands, Main Street and State Street, but between pooches and their proud owners.

Los Altos is a bowser-friendly burg with all types of respect shown to our four-legged friends. When I listen into privileged conversations canines are having, they seem to be taking the place of two-legged interaction. Short of an occasional bark, yip or growl, these exchanges between man’s/woman’s best friends and their best friends reveal cause for optimism. They are without argument, with an occasional slobbering kiss planted on the owner’s puss to emphazise a point or a tail-wagging sign of agreement.

Happy hounds have no time for the mind-numbing political tug-of-war preferred by humanoids. Puppies ain’t yuppies, they just want to have fun. Beagles ain’t friends with legals, they just want their ears rubbed. Yes, the smoke is bad, but the fires are worse. Pooches want you to be safe and protect them from the craziness they see us exhibiting every day.

Occasionally, a dog will bark out a grrrrreeting to its caffeine canine congregation, letting them know that their owners are spending more time than ever talking to them, rubbing them, loving them and ignoring those nosy, noisy, nattering dogless people at the local beanery.

We can learn a lot from the dog whisperers who are taking the walk less traveled.

Andy Dolich operates Dolich & Associates, a sports consultancy in Los Altos.

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