Only in my dreams could I be assured of not being stoned to death for proclaiming my truth to a crowd of animal lovers. I only like furry creatures in very specific places: pictures on walls or desks, computer screen savers and on TV, when the news stations end their nightly broadcasts with a feel-good story of an animal's heroic deed.
Beverly Hills is no exception when it comes to their furry ones. I have seen them adorned with diamond collars, faux furs and many, I guess, wearing the latest doggie wear by Hilton; Komondors (rocking the same hairstyle I do), Bullmastiffs, Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, and small and large show dog poodles, just to name a few.
So, on this particular day, I'm standing at a bus stop in Beverly Hills, on my way to a temporary research assignment. Time is of the essence, when I catch a glimpse of a four-legged creature about two blocks away and heading in my direction. I am terrified to the core, especially since it appears not to be lead by a human hand.
I have to think quickly, contemplating my two choices; turn on my heels to cross the street or possibly miss a bus, again.
Mercifully, I notice one of those long, long retractable leashes being held by a man sipping from a coffee cup and chatting away on a cell phone. How I wish those things were sold in florescent colors. Why does anyone need to walk a half mile behind man's best friend?
Of course, I am relieved when the owner finally catches up to this over-sized dog. This pretentious creature and I make eye contact.
She, a four-legged snob, wearing a pink designer knit, with orthodontic braces, is looking me up and down...
I could have sworn I heard this bitch say, "Get on the bus, you peasant!"
Uncharacteristically, I rolled my eyes in a not-so-nice way as the bus pulled up and I got on. I briefly wonder if pets in Beverly Hills can actually talk.
Who knew karma could go full-circle in a matter of thirty minutes? I am about to be punished for my eye-rolling impudence.
I arrive to my assignment and at the entrance of the door is a wolf. Well, not exactly, but he looks like one. My first thought was this better be a statue -- it wasn't.
I found out later that employers in California with fifty or less employees can decide whether they want to allow furry pets at work.
I think the manager sensed my fear and asked, "Did the agency tell you that we were a pet-friendly office?" Bristling inside, I said, "No, they did not."
"Are there any other pets in this office"? I asked, bracing myself for her answer, as I watched the wolf-like dog run up and down the floor playing with a blue and white ball. "Only a cat," she replied. I thought, Gee, I am afraid of those crafty, furry creatures, too.
My legs seem to stop functioning, like they were glued together. I followed the manager to my work area to settle into my chair. I lost sight of the wolf-like dog.
All of a sudden, I heard heavy breathing noises. I turned slightly to see what was going on. He's in his divan behind my desk -- yikes!
I found out something new about myself. I did not know that I was able to hyperventilate in total silence and cry dry tears.
When did (dogs and cats) become all the rage? I cannot seem to get away from them. They are everywhere! I've seen their furry heads pop up from women's over-sized handbags inside the grocery store. This is against the law if it is not a service dog.
Not to mention our local 90210 park, where I enjoy walking, but have to look down to be sure not to step on their organic droppings.
Where in the Bill of Rights does it mention humans being subordinate to unleashed pets?
I am tired of hearing "Gucci or Fendi doesn't bite. Come on. Pet him. He's afraid of his own shadow." The writer, Tony Hendra, addressed this issue in New York Magazine:
"It's OK! He's really friendly... Friendly doesn't quite cover the genome of a pony-size wolf-hound with the dentition of a teenage alligator. Flesh will be bitten, bones broken, picnic food stolen, small bodies exposed to ringworm, hookworm, and strep throat from slobbery tongues..."
I also agree with Mr. Hendra that unleashed dogs are weapons. I know this firsthand because I had been chased like I was on a FBI's Most Wanted poster once by a Doberman. I leaped on a hood of a car and had to pay out of my pocket for damages.
Oh, no. Here comes the furry feline from the back room, sauntering through the office with such elegance and grace, as if she is on her way to high noon tea.
By now, I am waiting for a Hollywood director to run out of that back room with a camera, microphone and a cue card that reads, you have been "punk'd!", along with a few of my friends, whom I would later forgive! I'd be jokingly informed they all conspired with the agency, the dog and cat whisperer, and this particular company to play this ruse on me -- no such luck.
I stood up with wobbly legs, left for lunch, and never returned. My hapless day continued because Karma followed me home.
I get off the bus only to see a man in my neighborhood with his Bullmastiff, without a leash, who is taller than he is and quite massive. Now it was my turn to stand still like a statue until he turned on his block.
I am pet-ri-fied of your unleashed furry creatures...