Ask Tessie: I live in Tahoe and don’t like dogs. Advice?
I’ve only lived here four years, but I had no idea how dog-centric Tahoe was before I moved here. From the many dog pictures in @TahoeSnaps, to water bowls outside shops and eateries, to the blue plastic poop bags left trailside — it’s all about the dogs. I’m not a dog person, so what to do when people look at me askance if I don’t fawn all over their pup?
First off, let’s get one thing straight: Don’t ever — and I mean EVER — tell anyone in Tahoe that you don’t like dogs. You’ll be excommunicated. Publicly ridiculed on Facebook. Possibly tarred and feathered.
Let me try and explain it in a way that an avian enthusiast such as yourself would understand. So you’re out birding in the Upper Truckee Marsh and you see a yellow-headed blackbird or dark-eyed junco. You gasp. Your heart swells in adoration as you quickly glue your eyes to the binoculars hanging from your neck to get a closer look. The beauty. The grace. If only you, too, could soar through the skies like these majestic winged creatures. You sigh.
That love and admiration right there — that’s how people in Tahoe feel about their dogs … times 100. The dude with his dog hanging out at South Lake Brewing Co. will take great offense when he sees you do not want to get on the ground and rub the belly of his husky while asking which backcountry route he took the pup on this weekend. The chick who brings her dog to the Tahoe Mountain Lab is going to pick up on your disgust at the dog hair her mutt got on your new black pants.
So you’ve got to fake it if you want to continue living in Tahoe and not be treated like a leper. Pretend that you understand why people let their dogs sleep in their beds. Act like you think it’s cool that there are 16 dogs on every restaurant patio you sit on. Feign indignation when people tell you about how a place isn’t dog-friendly.
Dogs are tough creatures to tolerate, what with their unconditional love, adorable faces, happy-go-lucky nature, and desire to please. So just think of them as giant birds — but way, way better.
Tahoe Tessie is a humorous take on the standard advice column. It is produced by the Tribune staff, and it is not meant to be taken literally. Have a question you want to ask Tessie? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.