Well. Here we are, in uncharted waters. In the past, when something unexpected happened, I was reminded of that saying, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” Boom. Welcome to life, Honey Bees.
I’ve quickly moved through the first four stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression — and am settled into the fifth stage, acceptance, while the coronavirus takes precedence in my life and the world. After all, Gumdrops, what choice do I have? I watch my dog, Coco Chanel, and see how she lives in the present. How does she do it, I ask myself. She never read Be Here Now by Baba Ram Dass. She’s never seemed interested in yoga or meditation. After her first owner died, she was given to and rejected by two subsequent owners before landing on my doorstep, so I know that she’s faced uncertainty. But today, she sits — in my easy chair — and looks out the window, patient and still. Well, Dumplings, I get it. She knows she doesn’t have to worry, because dogs don’t get coronavirus.
Benji, the adorable dog of my friends Bruce and Mary Anne Larsen, loves this stay-at-home order. Before the coronavirus, if the Larsens weren’t at one of their myriad meetings for the support and promotion of the arts and culture in Santa Fe (for example the Community Foundation and the Museum of NM Foundation), they could usually be found at one of the newest and trendiest restaurants. But today, Bruce and Mary Anne, gourmet cooks in their own right, are enjoying dinners at home with Benji. Voracious readers, they read themselves to sleep with Benji curled up at their side (he takes turns choosing sides). Benji, the little shelter dog, loves sheltering in place.
Puppies, I know other dogs from the Santa Fe and Española animal shelters who are sheltering in place while waiting for a permanent home where they can age in place. Foster momma Carol Hamilton (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices SF), has dedicated much of her free time to fostering shelter dogs. Now that she has more free time (theoretically), she’s able to spread the love even further, so she’s breaking her one-dog-at-a-time rule. Carol thinks that fostering these dogs gives her more comfort than she gives them. Pumpkins, are you looking to combat coronavirus stress? Remember, there’s no evidence that dogs and cats can get the virus, so...
What about cats? I’m not sure that cats want to share their homes with telecommuters. Lisa Harris felt that her five cats were a bit irritated with her when she temporarily closed The Video Library. They were okay with ONE human, Casey St. Charnez (Lisa’s husband), sharing their space on a daily basis, but TWO seemed a little intrusive. Kittens, now that I think about it, why is The Vid not an “essential business?” (The cats wonder that, too.)
Sadly, I know at least three dogs that won’t get to enjoy the benefits of our governor’s “stay-at-home” order. Kelly Andrew‘s laundromat, Solana Laundry, on W. Alameda, and Jeff Miller‘s laundromat, Santa Fe Laundry, on Airport Road, are “essential businesses,” so they’ll remain open. The good news is that their employees still get paychecks. The bad news is that Cheetah and Ben (Kelly’s dogs) and Eubie (Jeff’s dog) won’t get any additional people time. Honey Buns, believe me, they’re not suffering as it is. But it’s good that Cheetah, Ben, and Eubie can’t read, because if they found out they were being “cheetah-ed” out of more stay-at-home fun time, they’d be furious.
Butter Beans, I bet you’re wondering what other people are doing during this socially distancing time. Marg VeneKlassen recently decided to cut back just a little (we all know she’s way too young to retire!), so she sold VeneKlassen Property Management in order to devote all her time to sell-ing real estate (with Santa Fe Properties). But now, with the governor’s emergency public health order, she’ll have lots of time on her hands, since selling real estate during the day and drinking martinis with a group of more than five at night are both non-essential activities. I think she needs a dog.
Wilson is a good example of the positive influence dogs have in people’s lives. It was Wilson’s size (tiny) that inspired his owner, Barbara McIntyre (McIntyre Real Estate), to add a small dog park to the Frank S. Ortiz Dog Park off Camino De Las Crucitas. Already involved in the Dog Park Project (an organization to provide enhancements to the park that will “aid in the enjoyment of the dogs and their people”), Barbara is hoping to get started on the fencing to enclose the area that was once, very long ago, a tennis court. Like everything else, this project may have to wait for a while. But the enthusiasm of the people involved in the Dog Park Project will not die down, I assure you of that, Chocolate Drops.
Enough of dogs, already. Now that socializing is down, reading is up. Lemon Drops, if you can’t go out and shop for houses with your friends, you can peruse Santa Fe’s unique architecture in Paul Weideman‘s new book, ARCHITECTURE Santa Fe: A Guidebook. Yes, Dearest Readers, my editor, Paul, has toured, photographed, and written about so many properties in and around the City Different that he’s finally published a book that is “an immersive journey into the past, present and future of the oldest capital in the U.S.” But wait — our bookstores may all be closed! Never fear, my darlings, until they re-open, you can order online through Barnes & Noble or Amazon.
Anymore it seems that my last paragraph is dedicated to saying a sad goodbye to someone. This month we bid farewell to one of our longtime friends and respected colleagues, Suzanne Brandt (Coldwell Banker Trails West Realty). No one had a bigger heart when it came to caring for homeless dogs and cats. Suzanne served on a multitude of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors (SFAR) committees, she was consistently a top producer at CBTW, and in 2018 she was the SFAR Realtor of the Year. Her peers said she was one of the most ethical, helpful and knowledgeable brokers in our real-estate community. A heartbreaking loss for the Brandt family, for her close friends like Mindy DeMott (originally a client, then a fellow Realtor at CBTW, and a friend forever), and all the rest of us.
So long, Sweetpeas. Stay home and stay safe. Until next time... Oakley
Oakley Talbott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org