Monday, June 16, 2014

Losing my love affair with Runyon Canyon...

I've spent the last six years taking our Yellow Labrador Cooper to Runyon Canyon for his morning constitutional and it used to be a weekday treat we shared, but the experience is becoming less and less enjoyable of late.

Cooper has called Runyon Canyon home for six years
Yellow Labrador Cooper top Runyon Canyon
Parking has become a real pain along Mulholland Drive for a while now, and at the start of the year I was issued a parking ticket incorrectly, when I was legally parked. When I challenged him, the ticketing officer admitted his mistake, took the paper ticket (he had misread the arrows on the parking signs) and said he would rectify the problem.

Hollywood Sign view from Runyon Canyon
Beautiful Hollywood Sign mountain view Runyon Canyon
I knew it wouldn't end there and not only did I get an overdue ticket summons, but I had to contest the fine in person at a hearing four months later. I won and had my money refunded, but the epic waste of time was draining and annoying.
Labrador Cooper Runyon Canyon
In addition to the parking, the amount of dog poop littering the path has grown tedious. It's an overall lack of respect from the dog owners, who don't feel they have to take responsibility to pick up after their pooches. Then all us dog walkers get tarred with the same brush whenever someone walking these without a dog wants to rant about it.

Lush and green Runyon Canyon trail
Lush green winter Runyon Canyon
This year has been especially hot already and I'm not looking forward to the Summer heat. Cooper struggles now that he's older and especially as the on-leash sections are strictly enforced these days, it's proving harder to get him back to the car in the heat at the need of his walk, which is no fun for anyone.

Cooper and his Lab Pack friends
Labradors playing Runyon Canyon
Runyon Canyon is one of, if not the only, official off-leash dog-friendly parks in L.A. You can take your dog to other parks for a hike, but can't let them off leash for fear of a ticket.
Runyon Canyon clear day view
I think a few factors are influencing my affection for Runyon Canyon at the moment. Repetition is one, and I think a change may be in order and I see more escapes to the dog beach in future, even if it does take longer to drive there, at least Cooper is tired for a day or two afterwards, so it's well worth it.

Muddy pup Cooper
Muddy Labrador pup Runyon Canyon watering station
Another consideration are my bad knees and constantly aching joints from all the marathons I runs and train for. As I get older it's certainly taking it's toll and as you can see, Runyon Canyon has some inclines to climb.

Cooper has also been really sick on two occasions in the past year and I can't help but think it's sometimes the things he eats or drinks when he's in and out of the brush and splashing around in the dirty water, so that's always a constant worry about his health.

Sunset viewed from Runyon Canyon
Runyon Canyon sunset
I know Cooper will miss our mornings at Runyon Canyon, so will I, especially as these photos have reminded me of many fun times with him on our walks and the spectacular views of L.A. most days, but I think it's time for a rest, at least for a reduction in frequency for the foreseeable future.

Hopefully with some time and distance Runyon Canyon will be able to woo us back and we can resume our love affair...

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