We were about to get back onto the 5 heading south when I asked if anyone was hungry. A resounding cry of “Yes!” filled the car, so I swerved into the parking lot of Milton’s — one of the few good Jewish delicatessens in the county. Once seated in an overly air-conditioned booth, we talked dog.
Rosa and Josue don’t consider their pet an animal, even though his name, Chucho, is the Spanish word for “street dog.” Their baby boy, a miniature schnauzer, is better cared for than some children — Chucho’s clothes are not purchased at Petco or Muttropolis but at Baby Gap. Like a stern father, Josue explained that while training Chucho, he made sure to bite his ear: “That shows him I’m the alpha, like the mommy would do.”
“We want to have more dogs,” said Rosa, with the sigh of a woman who has more nurturing to offer.
“I want a dog,” I said. David agreed that a fun-loving pet would be nice someday, but with our travel schedule and trips that last two weeks or more, it just isn’t practical right now. Josue nodded at this and explained that as much as he loves Chucho, if he could go back and choose whether or not to have a dog, he would choose not to. “It’s like having a kid,” he said. “You can’t travel so much, and if you do, you need to find pet-friendly locations and hotels. Like with a kid, you end up going to Disneyland instead of a wine-and-culinary tour.”
“Yeah, it would take some sacrifice,” I said. “I mean, I’d like to wait until I have a yard. And, I’m just not ready to be tied down like that. Then again, it would be so nice to have a puppy.”
“We’re not getting a dog,” David said. He recognized the tone in my voice that signaled my mind’s entrance into rationalization mode.
I gave him puppy-dog eyes and said, “We’re going to eventually. Why not sooner rather than later?”
“We have all the time in the world to get a dog down the road,” David said. Then, in response to my persistent “I-want-a-puppy” face, he smiled and quipped, “Don’t make me bite your ear.”