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It happened quite innocently as we drove up to Carol and Richard King’s on New Year’s day. Charles said, “Isn’t that Duchess (the King’s German Shepherd)?” The next moment Carol appeared and said that the dog had gotten loose into the Arroyo as the gate was open. I thought nothing of it and I went inside as the dog seemed close and catchable. Now for the rest of the story!


(It helps to know that the Arroyo is the same dry gutch where the Rose Bowl is located just North of the King home. Their home is down beside the Arroyo where it is wet and impassable.)

An hour later, a very breathless Joyce Motazedi, artist extraordinaire, told me what had transpired. She was out with Carol and precious 10-year-old Stella Bentley (granddaughter of interior designer Shelby Goodman)trying to corral Duchess as the dog wandered around the Arroyo failing to respond to their plaintif calls. As Joyce followed on foot, Carol got into the car with Charles and brought with her Mr. Tomonori Ishii, VP of All Nippon Airways who was enlisted for the chase! Joyce then ran as fast as one of her equine subjects back to the Kings to return with treats for The Duchess & she zoomed back over a mile to be at the head of the chase…keeping in constant cellphone contact with Charles, Carol & Mr. Ishii. Apparently there are various private roads under the bridge. Duchess kept retreating and resisting all efforts to get her into the car or be within ‘dog-napping’ distance! Finally, Duchess went around a gate at the end of the road and onto the public roads teaming with early Rose Bowl traffic. Now that’s heart stopping!

A young couple, Joshua & Whitney, riding their bikes(on the other side of the gate) offered to try and catch the dog and were given Duchess’s leash while Charles and crew drove around. Going ‘Around’ meant finding streets to get around the Arroyo and find a way to cross to the other side. It was a bit of a stunt in the traffic and the barricaded roads (most streets are blocked to force football game bound folks to the parking lots).

When Charles, Carol and Mr. Ishii did get to the other side of the gate, Duchess had finally exhausted herself and was willing to co-operate with the young couple who then waited for the car. Charles said later how he kept thinking how panicked he would be if Yuki played ‘catch me’ in traffic!
Joyce summed it up as tears welled in her beautiful blue eyes, “We came so close to losing Duchess! But here she is!!! This really IS a wonderful New Year celebration!”

All’s well that ends well.

May you have a Perfect ’10!

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