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The Dogs of San Francisco


So just about a week and a half ago, I returned from a trip to San Francisco. I did the FatChanceBellydance General ATS Teacher Training (mouthful!) and I am now officially certified by Carolena herself to teach ATS. That’s a subject for another posting…

I don’t know why or how, but at the beginning of my trip, I decided to snap photos of the Dogs of San Francisco. Well, I was just snapping pics of dogs, and Quinn (who was there for the same training) said “It’s like your tour of the dogs of San Francisco”, and the idea was born. So I snapped as many as I could as I walked around.

At first I was trying to stick to just living dogs (not that the alternative is DEAD dogs!!). But I kept walking away from all this dog art and sculpture, I felt I needed to start including it as well.

It’s funny how happy people get when you ask to photograph their dog. Actually, their first reaction is bewilderment, and then they beam at you and try to get their dog to stand still and be good and look pretty. Which of course they won’t because dogs are camera WHORES and when they see you pull that camera out, they are SO excited to be photographed, they can’t stop wiggling and sniffing and letting you know how very happy they are that you have taken an interest in them.

I lamented later that I did not take down the names of all the dogs as I met them. Because there were some freakin’ cute names. Like Mitzi. And Kiko. But I am afraid you will have to be happy with imagining names of them for yourself.

The dog that started it all. One morning at Boogaloos having breakfast, I saw this punim outside the joint and had to capture him!

This little cutie was tied up outside a restaurant in The Haight, and was clearly waiting not-too-patiently for its human.

The Most Terrified Dog in the Universe. And you would be, too, if you were only a couple month old, a few inches tall, and your owner thought it would be “great training” to bring you for a walk on a busy day in Chinatown. How this dog did not get trampled immediately, I don’t know. I guess it got good at dodging. I have many blurry pictures of this dog trying to make itself even smaller, pulling its tail so far between its legs and shrinking from everyone. Great socializing technique!

This little princess (or prince?) was the mascot at one of the many large import shops in Chinatown (where I bought the most beautiful set of Oriental flower magnets!). She/He/It was very pompous and not the least interested in being coaxed out from behind the counter. But funny enough, the mailman walks in, and the dog goes NUTS! What is it with dogs and the mailman?!

Here is where my resolve to only photography actual organic tissue-based dogs was lifted. When I saw these Bling Pups in the window, I had to snap them. And check out the frog prince, too! WHO BUYS THIS SHIT?!


I snapped this guy while Nadia and Quinn and I were waiting for our seat in a sushi joint, somewhere in a mall in Japantown. Why dogs were allowed in the mall, I am unclear.

I was remiss! Quinn had a Dog of San Francisco right in her purse the entire time! Yes, this is Quinn’s cell phone coozy. He’s riding the waves as Isobune, San Francisco’s FIRST boat delivered sushi restaurant (yes, there are many now, apparently).

And this is the good captain of the Isobune: Dog. He leads all the other year mascots. Check out Monkey. He will never make it as a seafarer if he doesn’t behave…

I think this is the ONE dog who actually sat and let me snap his mug. Good boy!

A CAT?! Well, I was visiting my brother, and we stopped by his place. He had been out of town a while (as he usually is), and was snuggling one of his kitties hello, so I had to snap it. But don’t worry, the trip to the apartment was not in vain…

He also has a dog! Who had been in puppy lockdown for a week and was sooo thrilled to be back in her bed!

This guy was staying at our hotel. We caught him and his humans in the parking lot one afternoon. He was a particularly antsy one, but I got one non-blurry shot!

Check out these guys! They have such earnest little faces! Their human was an elderly woman, and they walked so respectfully beside her. Awww….

I actually ran out of a restaurant and stopped a man from crossing the street to get a pic of this guy. That was when I decided the addiction was too strong, and I had to chill out on this dog thing!

PSYCH! Even if I had decided to stop taking pictures of dogs, this guy would have broken my resolve!! Sitting at an outdoor table at a cafe on Valencia with her human. I took a ton of pics of this little puffball! All were equal in adorableness.

This little guy belongs to the tattoo artist here at Five and Diamond on Valencia. He was barking and running around, and would NOT sit still. Even when his Momma came in and held him for me, all I got was blur after blur. I didn’t want to get too in their business just to photograph their dog, especially since the guy WAS permanently scarring someone at the time. So the little legs under the chair will have to do!

And my final dog, also on Valencia, in the window of a kitchy home decor shop. What this picture fails to convey is that this picture is **3D!!** I so wanted to buy it for Queenie! Even if I could have afforded it, and could have found a way to fly it home…the shop was still closed. Geez, it was ONLY noon on a weekday. How can you expect stuff to be OPEN?!

So there you have it. My Dogs of San Francisco. Hope you enjoyed it!

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Shay Moore is the director and primary instructor at Deep Roots Dance in Seattle, WA. She loves writing, movies, costuming, knitting, cooking, and bellydance to the moon and back again; and loves her amazing husband and doggies even more than that.

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