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cultural heritagesociety

Dog Therapy

By Susanna Klein

In high school, a few of my friends and I used to lift each other’s spirits by sharing pictures of our dogs. Fast forward to my time here in Little Italy, I have found a similar therapeutic activity. I value my daily walks. My go-to route consists of a stop at the Little Italy Dog Park, where I—missing my Doberman puppy back home and my Bull Terrier in Heaven—take in the scene. Approaching the dog park, one could observe three stages of the park-goers. Stage one: excited pups and proud owners waltzing into the park. Stage two: delightful canine chaos, playful nipping, and water breaks. Stage three: owners either exit as gracefully as they arrive or they must drag their dog away as he or she begs for more playtime. 

Perhaps there is a way to integrate my high school activity of sharing doggy pictures and the community within the Little Italy Dog Park. Here’s my proposal: one way we can bond as a community is through sharing pictures and profiles of Little Italy’s canine citizens. Imagine your precious pup’s picture, name, and let’s say, favorite treat (or general fun fact), displayed at the caffe next to the dog park! Between enjoying delicious coffee, exploring San Diego’s Italian heritage at the Amici House, and catching up with friends, one could enjoy pictures and fun facts about Little Italy’s dog community. In the spirit of honoring Italian culture, it could also be worth highlighting breeds of Italian heritage. Calling all Italian Greyhounds, Cane Corsos, or the Maltese—there is an extensive list of Italian breeds that are no exception to Italian excellence. 

Every wagging tail and welcoming bark ignite a feeling of love not only for dogs but for the unique charm of Little Italy. I also love another chance to bring our Little Italy community together. I say, if we put this idea into action, we’d have quite the bonding experience.

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