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‘Damond on How Dogs Help Build Community’ by Danny Harris

by Prince Of Petworth March 25, 2011 at 10:30 am 43 Comments

Danny Harris is a DC-based photographer, DJ, and collector of stories. He launched People’s District, a blog that tells a people’s history of DC by sharing the stories and images of its residents. You can follow People’s District on Twitter @PeoplesDistrict, and can read his previous columns here.

“Like many people, I came here because of the federal government. I am from San Diego, and moved here ten years ago to work as an auditor for the Department of Labor. The city really is everything I thought it would be. It’s eclectic, full of history, and there is lots to do. I wasn’t sure how long I would stay when I first got here, but this place is definitely home now.

“I think that a big part of why it feels like home is because I bought a house a couple of months back and I also got Maggie, my baby girl. I never had a dog before, but always wanted a miniature dachshund. Maggie is even better than I could have ever imagined! I come home from work and it is so nice to have a warm body waiting for me who is always happy. And, she’s even come to take on my personality. She is very laid back….and she doesn’t bark!

“I see how much different things are for me now that I have a dog. Day-to-day, we, as citizens, don’t really speak to each other much. Having Maggie changes that for me. A dog invites people to engage and say, ‘hi’. People always stop me to ask my dog’s name and if they can pet her. Before Maggie, I fell into the category of keeping my head down and handing my business. I didn’t really talk to strangers if I had no reason. Now, that I have a dog, I find that I am more open to conversation. I notice dogs and people more, and am always inquiring about different tips and treats, and a plethora of other topics.

Continues after the jump.

“I think that dogs are so important to community because, to a certain degree, most people are animal lovers. To see a baby animal, regardless of what it is, is very intriguing to most people. Now, I don’t think that all people should walk around with pets as a way to make this city feel more like a community – it is never a good idea to let people have everything – but I think that having Maggie has really impacted my view of this city for the better.”

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