KAP-postage-stamp“It just simply divided my life, cut across it like that. So that everything before that was just getting ready, and after that I was in some strange way altered, ready. It took me a long time to go out and live in the world again. I was really ‘alienated,’ in the pure sense. It was, I think, the fact that I really had participated in death, that I knew what death was, and had almost experienced it. I had what the Christians call the ‘beatific vision,’ and the Greeks called the ‘happy day,’ the happy vision just before death. Now if you have had that, and survived it, come back from it, you are no longer like other people, and there’s no use deceiving yourself that you are. But you see, I did: I made the mistake of thinking I was quite like anybody else, of trying to live like other people. It took me a long time to realize that that simply wasn’t true, that I had my own needs and that I had to live like me.” ~Katherine Anne Porter, American short story writer, on surviving the influenza plague at the end of World War I.

“are you a visitor?” asked

the dog.

‘”yes,” i answered.

“only a visitor?” asked

the dog.

“yes,” i answered.

“take me with you,” said

the dog.

   ~Robert Lax


For the past six months, I’ve been documenting my spontaneous encounters with the diverse dogs of San Francisco. What started as a whim became a sort of quest. I’ve learned that one cannot judge by appearances: the most ordinary-looking dog often has an extraordinary story. And so it is with people. The dogs that I met were tolerant, kindhearted, and authentic. They amiably wander the city, as shaggy mendicants, yet giving more than they take. They’re capable of heroism. They do tricks. However they see this world, I’m certain that it is not the same world we see. Sidewalks, the pull of the lead, if one is good, a treat. I suspect that they do not feel owned at all. These goofy, loyal pets are perhaps our guardians, and not the other way around. At day’s end, they still dream of rabbits, an ancient chase.

I don’t know what I’ll focus on next in this blog. Something to do with my book: God? Uncertainty? Please stay tuned. And don’t be surprised if the dogs return…

This mythical dog knows about search and rescue.

Lulu the Schnoodle is a dog of an uncertain age–forty-something in dog years, if there is such a thing.

Bruce was adopted about two months ago. He doesn’t much like other dogs. He’s a people dog.

Chili, last seen here, has fallen on hard times. First, a Great Dane had jumped him. Then, once he’d got his dozen or so stitches out, he had a mishap in Crissy Field. The blue collar is there to protect Chili from himself.

Moxie’s name was originally Foxie.

It’s amazing what one can accomplish. Although Moxie is a small dog, she was not daunted by that six-foot fence. They say she jumped, then pulled herself over. She’s on Facebook.

Out of all the dogs at Family Dog Rescue, they picked Charlie because “he fell asleep in my son’s arms”.

Tied outside of La Boulange.

Imagine how a dog perceives the city.

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