Risk-takers. Givers. Healers. Survivors. Jokers.
You may think I’m describing the people who live and work in Playa Vista. Actually, I’m talking about their dogs.
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2018 is the Year of the Dog. To honor our furry friends, I visited the local dog parks, hung out at the Barking Lot and worked with the kind humans at the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace to meet as many dogs as I could in an effort to share the most inspiring dog stories I could find. There were many. Too many, in fact, to publish all of them in the magazine, but the five we’ve included are sure to touch your heart.
We know dogs provide companionship, affection and protection. But every dog-parent I spoke with implied that dogs do even more than that. For some, their dogs give them a spiritual purpose, a reason to go out into the world and thrive. For others, their dogs were the beginning of creating a family — they literally learned how to parent by taking care of their dog. I found these stories to be incredibly moving.
On a sunny afternoon at Fountain Park, I watched Chef, a White Swiss Shepherd, literally try to herd the Peacock family’s two young boys, Atlas and Odin, together. It was amazing to watch this formerly homeless dog that once roamed the streets of Venice follow through with his ancient instinct to herd and protect.
When I met Shayna, the tiny poodle with a big heart that spends her days sitting with hospital patients and the elderly, the journalist in me desperately wished I could actually interview the dog herself. Shayna’s owner, Sandra Heller, told me every detail about her dog’s life, but I couldn’t help but wonder what Shayna’s experience was like. If only dogs could talk.
I was impressed by all the dogs I met, but I was also surprised by how willing their owners were to share their stories with me. Every story was highly personal and courageous. Thank you.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Playa Vista Direct. For me, it’s the most inspirational one yet.
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