zen and the art of dog-walking

I went walking with my wife and friends a couple weekends ago around a trendy neighborhood, South Park, in San Diego. Twenty years ago, I would have preferred to do people-watching in Ocean Beach, a neighborhood between Point Loma and where the San Diego River empties into the sea. Years ago, there were beach bums, artists, and dog-people that frequented those trendy places. However, aside from sailors from the several Navy bases in San Diego, and some bikers not many passers-by were tattooed. But these days many travel in and around trendy places with “Man’s best friend” sport varied color hair, piercings, tattoos and other individual motifs.

Couples of every persuasion. Surfers and soccer players. Man-bun sporting artists. Bands jamming away in alleys. Venturing in and out of shops and bistros, my wife and I find the area familiar but not as trendy as once thought – we’ve been going there once or twice a year with friends for a several years. But last weekend was different in that many brought dogs to enjoy the walk. Old goldies (Golden Retrievers). Young pugs. A portly Shepherd-mix. A Huskie and a Weimaraner butt-sniffing as dogs are wont to do. San Diego is generally a dog-people and dog-friendly zone – except for areas mostly frequented by tourists.

Though I tend to avoid bringing my dogs to trendy places, at the next time one of these art-nights appear on the calendar, I should bring Dexter and Comet. I will just plan that they are well-walked beforehand. Dog deposits as both my critters tend to do, have not aroused sympathies in the artists nor vendors they have encountered in past outings.

  • recalling Robert Pirsig and his Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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