Sometimes I truly wonder what the rest of the world thinks of our fair city-by-the-bay. A couple of years ago we hit the national wires with the story of Santa Monica citizens being threatened by City Hall with $25,000-a-day fines if they failed to trim their hedges. The subsequent creation of what may be the world’s first “Hedge Registry” has quieted the issue, at least for now, although hedges keep growing daily.
The latest zinger has our city’s notoriety going to the dogs – literally – and to Santa Monica dogs, that is. Seems the newly opened dog park at Santa Monica Airport is available to Santa Monica dogs only. Right next door (within sniffing distance, if you will) are the good folks of Mar Vista, who have their own inventory of man’s best friends. Although Mar Vista dogs have the exact same bodily needs as Santa Monica dogs, they are not allowed in the new Santa Monica dog park.
Oh, the great divide of two great warring families – the House of Mar Vista and the House of Santa Monica. Recently I read that something like 60 percent of Santa Monica workers are employed in the entertainment industry, so it is surely just a matter of time before some north-of-Montana Shakespeare gets this screenplay to market.
Meet Romeo. Fully licensed by the City of Santa Monica and the last un-neutered male dog living in our city limits. Romeo is tall, handsome and just leaving adolescence. Before the dog park opened, his owner would sneak Romeo onto the beach in the wee hours of the morning so Romeo could run free. Meet Juliet, a striking, youthful and unsprayed Mar Vista bitch. Before the dog park opened, her owner would sneak Juliet onto the Penmar Golf Course in the wee hours of the morning so Juliet could run free, even ferret out an occasional lost golf ball for her owner.
The dog park brought Romeo and Juliet together, if only for one meeting; once Juliet’s owner learned he, like all from the House of Mar Vista, was banned from the park. It was love at first sight. Separation followed and both Romeo and Juliet wailed late into each night, their mutual love unrequited. They were morose. Then it happened, on the same fateful night each bolted from the House and met clandestinely in the dog park. Ever vigilant Santa Monica City employees took note and gave chase. Romeo and Juliet streaked across Donald Douglas Lane, leaped the security fence leaving their pursuers behind and streaked onto the runway of the Santa Monica Airport where they were hit and killed by a corporate jet returning from Sun Valley.
The tragedy touches both houses of Santa Monica and Mar Vista and “buries their parents’ strife.” The dog park is now for all dogs, and peace shall reign between the House of Mar Vista and the House of Santa Monica.