A Dog’s Eye View of the Island City

Local pooch enlists his owner to write to Alameda Sun

I have asked my human to write this as my paws just don’t work on keyboards. My name is Rudy and Alameda is my kind of town. So many interesting places to sniff, lots of friendly people, squirrels to hunt (someday I will catch one), and fellow canines.

On our daily walks my old man sometimes gets scared and ends up using short words. When we cross streets with the lines on the corners, sometimes even with flashing lights, he seems to think people in cars are going to stop. 

My guess it is about 50 percent of the time they do. When they don’t, the poor old guy gets quite perturbed and mutters short words waiting at the corner. It bothers him a lot more than me because frequently corners have interesting things to sniff like garbage cans and bus shelters. After a while we make it across.  

Sometimes he makes me wear this ridiculous flashing collar at night to embarrass me and catch drivers’ eyes. My personal favorite was the time last winter when a Lyft driver started yelling at us as we were crossing at a flashing yellow-lighted crosswalk on Central Avenue at 8 p.m. 
My old man threw up his hands to try and get the driver to slow down. He and his passengers seemed friendly. They vigorously waved, while they yelled and honked at us. 

I must admit that one thing that bothers me as much as the old man: car horns. I guess the way honking works, if you are driving a car and the light changes you are supposed to immediately hit the gas and get going. If not the custom is you are honked at by those behind you. 

It also seems that if someone is making a slow turn or driving 25 miles per hour or less, the custom is to give them a good blast on the horn. I have excellent hearing so these honks hurt my ears, but I must admit it is fun to watch the old man jump. He never seems to jump the same way twice. That may be another reason drivers like to honk, to watch the old man dance. 

The honks that get the best result are when we are crossing at a crosswalk. One good citizen stops for us in the fast lane and a car behind the stopped car swerves into the slow lane and, flashing through the intersection, gives us a solid blast. These do get the best height on the old man’s jumps and lead to some very colorful language and arms flailing. Unfortunately these intersections are sometimes by schools where, I have to say, the old guy’s language is not appropriate. He tries to keep it in check, but you know old people.

I personally love cars. Life is good when you get to ride around Alameda and stick your head out the window to feel the wind in your ears and catch the smells as you pass by. There is nothing like being able to put your snout up in the air and pass another dog being walked around town while you are being chauffeured. 

The one thing that really scares me about cars is sometimes they crash. One of my regular corners is Pacific Avenue and Sherman Street. It only has one crosswalk and surprisingly, the striped lines are  not on the side of the street that leads to Littlejohn Park, which has a great squirrel selection. 

The lights at Buena Vista and Lincoln avenues seem to inspire some of our more lead-footed drivers to imitate the winners of the Indianapolis 500. Unfortunately, one of my girlfriends (a cute German Shephard) got hit there the other day. I’m happy to report $12,000 later she is back to her frisky self, but her yelps when she was lying in the street really rattled me.

Whether driving or walking, this is a great town. A suggestion from this hound: slow down and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of our beautiful little city. 

 

Humbly typed by Rudy’s human John Platt.