Hollywood may be best known for its large egos, flashy cars and the need to leave one’s mark, but it is also considered a must for people who love movies and celebrity gazing. Back in 1927, the legendary Sid Grauman, who came up with the idea of the gala movie premiere also came up with the gimmick of putting celebrity hand and footprints in cement…the first were Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Norma Talmadge.  Since then the forecourt of this grand theatre has become the ultimate Hollywood shrine.  Going to Hollywood and not visiting the Chinese Theatre’s Forecourt would be like going to The Big Apple and not seeing the Statue of Liberty!  Tourists come from across the globe and place their own hands and feet into the impressions left behind by their favorite celebrities.  Some want to see if they share a size while others just want to feel closer to their idols.


Well long before that light bulb flashed over Mr. Grauman’s head, our canine friends had been practicing the art of leaving their mark wherever they go, so having lived in the Entertainment Capital for decades, I found a concrete way to merge the two…by making sure my own furry kids are immortalized by creating a Walk of Fame in my own backyard!  The GRReat thing is that we never cemented it in place, so now that we’ve made a cross-country move, we can reestablish it once again!


The idea started with our yellow Labrador Retriever Sunny who was the first canine Paul and I shared the privilege of parenting together.  We poured cement into a square mold, helped her place her paw in it and then added her name and the date.  We’re now up to our seventh stone and we’ll be creating the new area with plenty of room to grow.


Sometimes I’ll purchase a heart or bone-shaped tag that I get engraved to identify the breed or include a message, such as ”Welcome to the Rex’ or ‘We Love Duchess the Sheltie!’  The tags add a little glitz and glamour which is what Hollywood is all about, and we have a PAWSitively good time making a forever memory together.

My best boy Haiku, will be celebrating his 13th birthday in just a few days – where has the time gone?  As many of you know, my soft spot lies with adopting seniors, but after having 3 seniors cross that Rainbow Bridge in quick succession, I foster failed a pup (I knew it from the start) and adopted 6-week old Haiku!  When he was still a little tyke, I did once catch a glimpse of him placing his smallish paw into the much larger imprint of his brother Rico.  Maybe he was trying to see if he could fill his big brother’s paw step, or was he dreaming about sharing the same paw size as his hero?


Regardless, making memories together is a wondeRUFFul way to immortalizing your pets before they move on, and it gives you a fun memory to look back on – a time when you were happy and together.  Take every opportunity to celebrate your friendship – birthdays, holidays, just any day with a visit to a favorite hiking spot, sharing an ice cream cone (yogurt is best for most canines), gazing at stars or clouds so that when you see the same formation in future years, you will remember the wondeRUFFul time you first saw it together.

PAWSitively take pictures so that you can create wall hangings, photo albums or even jewelry, but don’t miss being in the moment as you click away.  Sometimes photos of the ordinary things are the most memorable:  eating a meal, getting groomed, playing with a favorite toy.

Unlike humans, our dogs and cats are not dreading what is to come and don’t stress about what hasn’t yet happened.  Sitting quietly, enjoying the caress of a gentle breeze against your face.  Watch how the wind blows your pup’s fur and even carries some of it along.  Listen to the song of the hoot owl, the coyote, the cricket – they are all here wanting to be heard, and to be heard with your best pal by your side!   Take off your shoes and run through the grass with bare paws (um, feet).  Feel how cool and squishy it is.  Tune into the world and into your pet and your journey together will be filled with glorious memories!


WATCH MY VIDEO VLOG ON THIS TOPIC HERE https://youtu.be/PLjtqpecdbo


Denise Fleck is an award winning author and freelance writer.  After extensive training, practice, more training and more practice, she developed her own Pet First-Aid & CPR curriculum and has been teaching animal life-saving skills for close to 20 years with many success stories to share.  Additionally she developed a 5 month long Animal Care course for high school students in conjunction with the Burbank Unified School District and Animal Shelter.  She has demonstrated animal life-saving skills on CBS –TV’s “The Doctors,” Animal Planet’s “Pit Boss,” “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life” and countless other shows. To complement her teachings, Denise created a line of Pet First-Aid Kits, posters and books for children teaching animal respect and care!  Visit www.PetSafetyCrusader.com or call (818) 951-7962.

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