Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 1, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain View News Saturday, May 1, 2021 
Mountain View News Saturday, May 1, 2021 


Happy Tails 

I’m beginning to wonder if we humans will 
ever get back to our used-to-be-usual way of 
crossing paths on the sidewalks in our village, 

by Chris Leclerc 

without feeling the need to create a huge gap 

between. I sure do hope so. I’m feeling the loss 

of what we all used to consider as “normal” 

behavior in public, but I‘m also hopeful that we are finally closing in on some semblance of recovery 

from the freakish fallout of the pandemic. Fingers crossed, and positive thoughts. 

I understand and accept the science behind the social distancing we have been asked to practice, and as a 
dog walker who spends a lot of time out and about, I’ve been willing to comply, in order to help prevent 
the spread of COVID-19. I’m also happy to say, I’ve noticed that most local folks have done a Yeomen’s job 
of keeping distance and wearing masks, as a respectful and cautious gesture, over the past several months 
since the virus found its way into our lives. 

I only mention the virus-related social changes over the past year and almost a half, as a means of leading 
into my thoughts about doggie distancing - or, as I see it - the lack thereof, in our community. For many 
years I’ve had concerns about folks’ absence of spatial awareness when it comes to respecting others while 
out walking their dogs. I was concerned about this issue WAY before COVID…(which, oddly has become 
a thing I seem to say a lot these days…“WAY before COVID“…strange but true). 

Here’s where I’m going with this. 

I’ve had this dog walking and pet sitting business in Sierra Madre for going on 12 years now. I started 
small and local, spread out to nearby towns such as Pasadena, Arcadia and Monrovia, then eventually 
decided to shrink it down to be as local as possible, to best serve my closest neighbors and friends. But 
regardless of where I walk dogs, I cannot help observing others out walking their dogs, and I do my best 
to be courteous when we happen to cross paths. 

I make every effort to give my fellow dog walkers their space, even when I’m tempted to get close. I say 
tempted because I love every dog I see. I look at them and I just love them, every one of them, and I want 
to meet them, face-to-face. But I resist the urge, for common sense and safety’s sake. 

I want to say I feel the same way about the countless humans I meet on the street from one day to the next. 
WANT to. I mean, I think it’s the right thing to do, to love my fellow humans, that is. After all, I’m human 
too, right? And the fact of the matter is, I truly do love a lot of people. It’s just a lot more challenging to 
love some humans than it is to love a dog, any dog. Just saying. 

So, back to the topic at hand. I cross paths with loads of people walking dogs in Sierra Madre, every day. 
I recognize many faces, as we tend to be out and about around the same time and we tend to walk the 
same route. For the most part, I find folks to be quite friendly. Most use pretty good dog-walker’s ethic. 
They smile or nod, and instinctively create some space between. This was true, even WAY before COVID. 
(Oops, said it again!) 

To me it’s common sense, and always has been. While I do actually enjoy meeting and greeting other 
people and (especially) their pups, I make it my habit to maintain some semblance of space, as a gesture 
of respect. I don’t assume that the other person or their dog is open to me getting into their personal 
bubble. I’m not sure why or how I know this. It‘s just in my nature. Maybe it’s the way I was raised. It feels 
like common sense to me. 

The issue of concern I have (always have had) with some folks out there, is the assumption that if you are 
walking a dog in public, then you are inherently expected to allow other dogs to interact with your own. 
I’m referring to those people who appear to be completely aloof to the preference of the strangers they 
cross paths with. They approach without hesitation, loosen their leash and allow their dog to come right 
on over and get into the face of a stranger‘s dog, with complete disregard for body language, or verbal 
request to back off. 

I hope I’m not sounding too snobby or snooty with regard to this matter. If so, please forgive me. That is 
not my intention, and it’s not my way, in general. Those of you who know me, know better than that. It’s 
just that it happens often enough for me to have decided to write about it in this week‘s column. 

My only hope is that I might encourage someone who hadn’t before realized that this could be a problem, 
to perhaps revisit the issue and try to think in terms of how the other person and their dog might feel 
about spatial invasion. By no means do I wish to add more fuel to the potential fire of fear we humans 
have had to endure since COVID-19 surfaced in our society. I only hope to enlighten the minds of 
otherwise unaware humans to the fact that not every passing dog needs to get to know you or your dog. 
Some prefer to keep their distance and I believe everyone deserves that respect. Please be a courteous, 
caring pet parent. Love and let live. 



which produces 

[Nyerges is an educator and 

fragrant elongated 

author of many books, such as 

leaves. Though 

“How to Survive Anywhere,” 

not a food, it can 

“An Urban Survival Guide,” “Ex

be used to sea

treme Simplicity: Homestead-

son fish and other 

ing in the City,” “Self-Sufficient 

foods, and to make 

Home,” and others. More in


formation is available at www. 


The California 

One of the themes of my “Extreme Simplicity” book] 

bay tree is a native 
was that anyone on any suburban plot of land can be 

that grows along 
a producer, producing not just some food, medicine, 

streams in the wild. 
and energy, but also producing a good and uplifting 

It is easy grown 
atmosphere for people and wildlife. This theme of 

from a seed, and 
grow-what-you-need was also continued in my more-

is an easy-to-carerecent 
“Self-Sufficient Home” book. We are seeing 

for evergreen tree. 
that more and more people are getting this message 

The leaves are used 
as they are removing lawns and putting in gardens, 

for tea and season-
herbs, and native plants instead. 

ing in Ital-ian cooking. The leaves are also put into 
cupboards to repel bugs. The nuts in the fall are also 
Our position is that each of us should be a part of the 

edible, once roasted. Additionally, the long branches 
solution to our planetary woes, and one way to do that 

of bay can be cut and made into bows. It is one of the 
is to grow some of the things we need. 

preferred local woods for bows.

reliance, growing useful landscaping also dovetails 

 Since this also provides you with some level of self-

My mother grew geraniums because they required no 

nicely with the basic themes of the Sierra Madre 

care, were drought-tolerant, and produced colorful 
CERT program, where each of us can and should be 

flowers. Get the fragrant varieties that can be made 
an active part of the solution. 

into teas. 
Each plant listed here is drought tolerant, useful in 
some way, requires very little care, and is at-tractive 

as a landscaping plant. Only the California bay is a 

Society garlic has become very popular in urban 

landscaping. I’ve seen it around the Rose Bowl and 

in the little strips around strip malls. It looks like a 


flat-leaved onion, and produces a laven-dar flower. It 
Pineapple guava are already frequenly planted as or-

grows easily and spreads quickly. I have grown them 
namentals, though most of the fruit is just left to rot. 

for years, and our family often added the leaves to 
These flowers attract bees, and the granular fruits are 

soups, stews, salads, and egg dishes. 
great eaten as-is. The plants require very little care. 
I have seen them in old homesteads in the Angeles 

National Forest where they have not been tended for 

Aloe vera is another drought tolerant plant that is allover 
60 years. 

too-easy to grow. Plant one and soon you’ll have a 

dozen. They are great for cactus bed or borders, and 


they produce a flower spike once a year. The fresh gel 
A loquat is not a citrus. It has a large leaf, and is one 

of the aloe is excellent for poison oak rashes, burns, 
of the first fruit trees to produce. The fruit is golden 

cuts, sunburns, and many skin conditions. 
colored with a large brown seed. They are very easy to 
grow with a seed, and again requires no maintenance. 

These are just a few examples of how we can all be 

producers and provide some of our daily needs with 


the flora just outside the door. 
Lemon verbena is a drought-tolerant perennial herb 


Age 1.5, Buff Tabby. 
Lady Whistledown isan incredibly sweet,
friendly, and cuddly littlekitty. She was found as apregnant stray and wentinto foster care. She is the 

proud mama of 4 beautiful kittens and will be readyfor adoption after she’s done taking care of her littleones in early June. She deserves to live out her life as apampered house kitty. You can see her adorable kittenson our website’s More Cats page. Call 626-808-8557 to apply or inquire. 

Pet of the Week

 They say smiles are contagious and Shabba couldn’t 
agree more. This five-year-old pup is full of big grins,
bringing joy and laughter to those closest to him. Shabbais not only camera-ready, he’s super smart. He’ll happilyshow off his “sit” or “down” commands and his loose-
leash walking skills. He’s even housebroken! Shabba islooking for a new home with an experienced owner andno small children. If you’re ready to bring some smilesto your life, adopt Shabba!

 The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptionsinclude spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriatevaccines. 

New adopters will receive a complimentary healthand-
wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, aswell as a goody bag filled with information about howto care for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule a virtualadoption appointment at
Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption appointments are availableevery day at 5:00 p.m. for the following day.

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


HeyO' Sierra Madre! How ya'll doing? 

Your lovely local 501c3 non-profit, Free Animal Doctor, could use some stuff if you have it 
and don't need it! Plus a volunteer! Here are the deets (as the kids say, the kids from 20 years 

1) Towels. When we do Spay/Neuter clinics we put towels in every metal cage to make it more 
comfy. We also clean up with them. So if you have used towels you don't need, we need 'em!
They can be stained, frayed, even a small hole here or there, just as long as they are clean. Put 
them in a plastic trash bag, and drop them under the mailboxes at 70 E. Montecito Ave... we 
cannot get enough towels! Love 'em!! 
2) Portable canopies. Our big canopy got destroyed in the windstorm. We have a small one, 
but we could use one or two more. It's to shade our staff and clients when they come to the 
Spay/Neuter clinic and have to stand outside. Got one you don't use? We'll use it every weekend! 
Comment here and we'll connect. 
3) Wanna volunteer? We need help checking pets in on Sundays and Mondays. We have about 
20-25 people show up at about the same time, and we need to quickly process paperwork and 
get their pets safely into the clinic for surgery. 
It's 730am until about 930am on Sundays and Mondays at Gate 7 of Santa Anita, right off 
Baldwin before you get down to the mall. You don't have to volunteer every day, but a couple 
times a month minimum would be good. There is a minor bit of training involved, and you 
get much better at it with experience, so we are looking for a bit of a commitment if you wanna 
help. Let me know, again, comment and I will arrange for us to get in touch. THANKS!! 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285Email: Website: