Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, July 3, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page A:9

Mountain Views News Saturday, July 3, 2021 9 Mountain Views News Saturday, July 3, 2021 

One of the most important aspects of my 
life is the time I get to spend with the kind 
canines and felines I’ve befriended over the 

Happy Tails

past 12 years of pet sitting and dog walking 
in Sierra Madre. Don’t get me wrong, my 30 
years as a resident here has brought some 

by Chris Leclerc

amazing people into my life and I love my 
true-blue, two-legged pals too. But few and 
far between are my human companions who 
can out-do the uniquely calming virtues of my furry, four-footed and feathered friends. It’s just a different 
kind of relationship, as most animal lov-ers know. 

I wake up each morning, grateful to be alive. I’m feeling good. I choose to be happy. I leave my house, I 
walk out to my car with a smile on my face. I’m looking forward to seeing my canine clients and taking 
them out for their walks. Most of the time, it all goes just fine. But there are those days when, within moments 
af-ter leaving home, I feel like I’m dodging the darts of everyday human life in a bustling city. (Yes, 
I’m talking about Sierra Madre). 

At the risk of sounding all-too-impatient with this swiftly changing community, let me just say that there 
are days when I feel like running for cover from the fallout of folks who feel the need to mow everything 
and everyone down in their quest to get where they are going. That coupled with the constant noise of 
filthy leaf blowers and a continuous parade of huge trucks coming to pave the way to whatever is coming 
next, I guess I’m challenged to embrace this new-fangled brand of “small-town“ living. I miss the peace and 
quiet I re-member so well from not so long ago. It seems humans have appointed themselves as authors of 
constant chaos. That concept is lost on me. 

Okay, I know I’m probably the odd-ball out on all this, but at times the craziness gets so intense I actually 
consider taking a 180 and going back home. But instead I choose to persevere, because I want - I need - to 
be there for my canine and kitty clients, and I always look forward to the time we spend together. 

Nothing eases tension like walking a dog. When I arrive for my first walk of the day, the stress begins to 
melt away. I enter the home and I’m immediately greeted by an over-the-top happy, fun-loving, carefree 
little in-dividual, more excited than a fiction-writer could attempt to conjure up as a character in a book. 
But this is not fiction. This is my reality. The grateful dog communicates clearly with me using her universal 
language; body gyrations, happy hairy hugs and canine kisses. We get leashed and off we go. Now I 
know it’s all going to be ok. 

As we commence our journey, the pup’s enthusiasm remains at a level higher than mine will ever be in 
this lifetime. We travel along the same trail we walked just the day before but to her, it is all brand new. To 
her, the blade of grass she just sniffed is like a little bit of heaven although it is the same blade of grass she 
sniffed yesterday.. For her, the light breeze that passes through the trees incites the kind of feeling I had as 
a kid on my first roller coaster ride. To her, the cat in the neighbor’s yard is there for her personal entertainment, 
no other reason whatsoever. And to her, nothing else matters but what we are doing together, right 
here, right now. 

She is in the moment. There are no concerns about what took place yesterday. There is no stress about what 
she should be accomplishing in preparation for tomorrow. There is no urgency to finish up and get on to 
the next task. There are no thoughts of regret, no angst over memories of last week’s blunder, no nostalgic 
mel-ancholia, and no burning desire for more than what is happening right now…my sweet four-legged 
friend is in the moment! 

Suddenly she raises her nose upward to catch a down-wind whiff of a passing scent, or to inspect the flashing 
movement of a flitting hummingbird. Then down again as fast as it went up, to resume her mission of 
reading the “pee-mails” left by those who visited that spot before. She casts glances my way, to reassure 
her-self of my presence and I respond with a wink and a smile. I pause periodically to give her pats on the 
head and tell her she is such a good girl, to which her eyes roll back as if to say, “I know, right?” Then, down 
to the trail returns her intent focus, head swinging to and fro, floppy ears bouncing up and down. That pup 
is absolutely in the moment. 

And there it is, plain and simple. A subtle, yet oh-so valuable lesson learned from a darling little dog. I 
know we humans don’t get to live like dogs live, as if there is nothing to be planned for and no amends to be 
made for yesterday. We must bear the burden of responsibility that is inherent to being human. But must 
we spend every moment creating mindless chaos for a lack of what else to do? Must we constantly plan 
new events that we may not allow ourselves to enjoy because we’ll be so busy thinking of the next activity 
to be planned? And if we spend our days regretting the fact that we wasted good energy in the past, have 
we not wasted yet more precious time in fruitless regret? 

I don’t know about you, but I want to learn how to live in the moment, like my canine companions do. 
They don’t even have to try, it comes naturally for them. I believe I was better at it as a child, but I seem to 
have lost that skill somewhere along the way. Today I am on a quest to restore my sense of being present 
now - in the moment, and I am happy to have the best teachers one could hope for. My beloved dogs. They 
teach me through their simple ways of living, as long as I am willing to learn. Learn from the dog. Love 
and let live - in the moment. 



[Nyerges is the author of “Self-Sufficient Home,” one chapter of which shows the pointlessness of a “front 
lawn.” He is the author of several other books, and leads regular survival and self-reliance classes. He can be 
reached via this paper, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or on-line at]

 I love the quiet. You know, that dead silence that you can only get in the desert where you hear 

your heart beat. There is a sense of peace that you can only experience in the quiet.

Now, I know everyone doesn’t agree with me, and I know I have to be realistic if I live in the city 

and people have wild parties and play music. That’s fine, up to a point.

When I lived in L.A., we had a neighbor who would have the most outrageously loud parties. 

The windows in my house five houses away would rattle. Most neighbors were frightened and 

intimidated, but I would call my neighbor and say, “Jason, you must turn down the volume or the police will be tell

ing you to do so.” Sometimes this worked, and sometimes it didn’t. Jason once told me that he was a very concerned 

neighbor because he was a Buddhist. So was I, I told him, and if he was so concerned about his neighbors, he would 

have never had such loud music. “Did you go door to door and ask every neighbor if it was OK to have such loud 

music?” I asked him. He was silent, and I quickly added that a truly compassionate person would have either gotten 

the express approval of all neighbors, or not had the loud music. This might have had an effect because such loud 

music was rare after that. 


As a child, I loved to stand in the street of our Pasadena home and light off fireworks, and watch the fireworks on the 

Fourth from the Rose Bowl a mile away. But these days, the adult-children have gotten more and more serious with 

their loud munitions in order to “celebrate.”

 I used to call the police every Fourth when I lived in Los Angeles, and they would say, “What do you expect us to 

do? They’re blowing off fireworks border to border.” And he was right. With a whole city of scofflaw criminals, there 

was little the police could do in such a case but go from place to place, maybe write tickets and then move along to 

the next spot.

 My concern was not the noise for my own sake, but because I had dogs, cats, and a pig who were all severely affected 

by the fireworks. Especially the dogs! Non-dog people do not realize that such noises affect the ears of dogs much 

more adversely than humans because of the more sensitive nature of the dog’s ear. 

 For a few years, I actually went door to door in my neighborhood with a printed sheet, telling neighbors that fire

works were illegal, and explaining the negative effect on pets. I talked to many neighbors this way, and got to meet 

neighbors I had not seen in years. That year, there may have been a slight decrease in the amount of fireworks in our 

area, and at least I felt that I did something, however minimal it might have been. 


Then there are leaf blowers. I have long been against leaf blowers. How many of you have seen “gardeners” simply 

blowing dirt and dust and bits of debris into the middle of the street, or audaciously blowing it into the neighbor’s 

yard? I can no longer count the times I have seen this. Yes, I know some of the guys doing landscape work are consci

entious individuals, but at least half are not, and they view a neighbor’s yard as a good place as any to dispose of leaf 

and dirt and dust.

 When I did landscape and gardening work. We used some power tools, like a mower, but mostly rakes and brooms. 

Though it was hard work most of the time, it was a silent meditation as we worked in some yard, cleaning and pruning 

with no adverse effects for the neighbors. For a while, we used a tool that was the opposite of a leaf-blower –it sucked 

up all the dust and leaves into a bag that we then took away.

 Today’s mow and blow crews are not artists, just guys moving from house to house, quickly knocking off each job 

with their blowers and week-wackers, and when you complain you are accused, at best, of interfering with someone’s 

ability to make a living, and at worst, you are accused of being a racist.

 The racist accusation does not merit comment. As for interfering with someone’s job, since when is how someone 

makes money not subject to regulation? If the leaf blowers were silent, that would reduce some of the criticism. And 

if the leaf blowing guys used the blowers only occasionally, blowing leafs into a pile and then picking it up into a con

tainer, that too might reduce some of the criticism.

 I am on the extreme that believes we should just let all the leaves lie, and let a garden grow where you once had a lawn. 

Weed-wackers and leaf-blowers make our urban home a nightmare, not a paradise.

 Paradise is an internal concept. We make our homes and neighborhoods a living paradise, or an excruciating hell, by 

all the choices we make. Let’s learn to respect each other, and especially the needs of the elderly and infirm who are 

home all day. 


They are such beauties! Mocha has 
long hair, and Pepper has short hair. 
Both have the remarkable tortie 
colors of autumn. Their owner can 
no longer keep them but they need 
to be adopted together because they 
are extremely bonded. Their owner 
“Pepper and Mocha are healthy, 
bonded, and inseparable sisters. At 
first they will hide and be very shy 

but once they feel safe the girls will show their affection and love. 
They play, eat, snuggle, and sleep together. Pepper cuddles, and is 
adventurous, curious, and active. Mocha is calm, reserved, cautious, 
but she is sweet and enjoys being pet. Pepper can be vocal when she 
wants to play and wants some atten-tion. When it’s time for dinner 
they get very excited. They also give gentle love bites and lick you 
after. Playing fetch and “sitting” before getting a treat is some of their 
unique traits. Given some time the girls can get along with other cats. If they sense someone coming 
to the door the girls growl softly and hide; it’s like having a guard dog. Mocha and Pepper would be 
a perfect companion to a loving person, couple, and/or family. See the Adoption Procedures page to 
apply. Submit your application now at 

Pet of the Week

 Melek is three months old and super cute! She can be shyat first, but with time (and treats) she warms up to people.
And once she trusts you, she loves getting attention andpets. Melek would do best with an adopter who can giveher lots of playtime and socialization. If you have thepatience to let Melek go at her own pace and come out ofher shell slowly, you’d be the purrfect fit for her.

 The adoption fee for cats is $100. All cat adoptionsinclude spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriatevaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-andwellness 
exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as agoody bag filled with information about how to care for 
your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoptionappointment at Adoptions are byappointment only, and new adoption appointments areavailable every Sunday at 5:00 p.m. for the following week.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters byphone calls or email.