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The Leader of the Pack–Meghan Daum on Roaming Dogs of LA

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Elfin Op-ed columnist, Meghan Daum, chronicles the class struggle as played out in her neighborhood of Echo Park–by dogs. In Saturday’s LA Times, she wrote about the gentrification of her neighborhood, and the dogs abandoned by their (presumably) Latino owners priced out of the neighborhood, as well as the listserv for local pet owners. She rhapsodized about the abandoned canines in a way familiar to readers of Rousseau:

But they had a spirit you just don’t see in dogs that are “privileged” enough to live behind secure fences or sleep inside houses. Freed from the emotional burden of being pets, they had been given the great gift of simply being dogs.

FBLA hopes she doesn’t have kids. Jenny Burman, blogging at Chicken Corner, about the same neighborhood, has a way different take on the dogs and their owners who post on the Alliance listserv. She writes

It may be true that Alliance members are mostly white and middle class.But in my experience, wandering dogs have been the pets of this same group–and to a disproportionate degree.

And here are the guilty parties:

Paul is white, in his mid-thirties. He is from Boston originally, and he went to Wesleyan.

Joe and Heather, who are white boho arts types.

FBLA senses a pattern. Burman, who’s a gentle soul, has a live-and-let-live vibe unknown to our more acidic friend, Cathy Seipp. Seipp actually likes Daum’s columns, but is more critical of dog ladies.

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