Willow, Bichon Frise, Maltese and Havanese mix, admiring Dogs in Flight street mural by artist Laurah Grijalva part of the the Burbank Arts Council beautification program.

Dogs in Flight: Deja Vu...All Over Again

Would you believe me if I told you I had the craziest dream last night? My dad (kind of my hero) called me over to join him on our comfy rug as he turned on YouTube. Lately, he and my mom have been really into watching dog videos. It seems they have some sort of secret bet going to see which one of us growls at the tv first. Which I find humorous and a little silly on account of one simple fact; my lil brother, Dilla, always wins because he’s obsessed with television.

Dilla, French Bulldog and Boston Terrier mix, sitting on the sofa watching the wolves run in The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
Dilla just loves watching tv!.

Whether he’s watching a thriller or solving the latest who-done-it, glaring at horses galloping around or simply following the dance moves of the latest pop music video, the screen always keeps Dilla hyper-focused. My pawrents stand in awe observing him, taping each other to say, “look, look, look at Dilla…look at him" as he snarls at the animals on the screen, greeting them with his intense stare and menacing growls.

Eventually, my dad’s eyes land on mine and in return, I nestle further into his side and await my belly rub as my pawrents slowly start realizing there is zero chance of me growling because I’m just not that into TV. Why should I be? None of those dogs on screen try to steal my treats or give me awesome scratches like the one my dad is giving me right now, so I refuse to be bothered with it. Okay I’m getting a little off track…back to my wacky dream.

I was running towards my dad and did my usual leap but instead of landing right in front of his feet, so he could pick me up, I surprised myself, leaping over six gigantic floor pillows and soared into his arms. And that wasn’t even the craziest part of the dream because a little fact you’ll learn about me is that I’m a fantastic jumper. Not one to toot my own horn but it’s true. Toot, toot! Leaping over things is kind of my thing. Oh and don’t let me forget to tell you about the one time I used a trash can to clear a security gate. 😜 Did I mention I have a tendency to get off track?

No, the craziest part of the dream was me looking down and seeing I was no longer wrapped in my dad’s strong arms. I was floating. Second by second, my body was being lifted higher and higher into the air and I looked down to see my dad waving and calling my name. If it wasn’t for his furrowed brow, I would have thought he was simply saying “hello” and “good girl”. Looking back, I realize he was trying to guide me back to the safety of the ground. It was exhilarating and truth be told, his worrying wouldn’t have stopped me from flying because it couldn’t overshadow how free I felt in that very moment. The feeling of weightlessness overwhelmed my senses and my tail was wagging feverishly. I lifted my snout into the air and stuck out my tongue because I wanted to taste those delicious clouds floating alongside me. Clouds I could touch with my paws and feel their softness caressing my fur.

I was so happy and content soaring through the sky that I missed the soft buzzing sound becoming increasingly louder as my dad’s voice drifted to my ears. “Willow. Wake up sweet pea. It’s time to go for a walk,” I heard him softly whisper. His soothing voice lifted me from my sleep, coaxing me to open my eyes. The light flooding into view confirmed I was waking up from a dream. There were no puffy clouds, all four of my paws were tucked safely underneath my tummy and my body was firmly planted on the ground. Has that ever happened to you? Dreaming a dream so good that you shut out reality by closing your eyes to recreate the scene for just one last moment of peace? Well…no such luck this morning, because I felt Dilla moving about and nature called. Ten minutes later, my pawrents, Dilla and I were ready and out the door for our morning walk.

As we were cruised through our neighborhood, lined with the greenest trees you have ever seen, I noticed there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was shaping up to be an uneventful walk until Dilla and I ran into a wall. Looking up, I realized it wasn’t a wall at all. It was some sort of box littered with the same soft clouds floating by me in my dream. And it wasn’t just the clouds that looked so familiar to me. There were dogs jumping through the sky with some sort of contraption affixed to their back. I was instantly transported back to my earlier sleep state and couldn’t believe how much the scene reminded me of my dream. It was like déjà vu…all over again. It’s nice to know I’m not the only pup who dreams of flying; something I’m looking forward to learning more about. 😉

Willow standing in front of the Rocket Dog utility box showing dogs flying through the sky.
Rocket Dogs by artist Laurah Grijalva.

As we finished up our walk, we spotted a few more boxes covered in art: scenes of animals at a casting call, ready to audition for the next fido movie to rock musicians jamming on their awesome instruments.

Turns out my pawrents loved the Rocket Dogs mural by Laurah Grijalva as much me and Dilla, so my mom did some research on her computer and reached out to the artist to learn more about it. According to the City of Burbank’s Cultural Arts Commission, back in 2015 the beautification program started with the goal of painting several utilities boxes, encouraging community pride by beautifying the neighborhood.

My mom had a chance to ask Laurah about the inspiration behind her painting, and she responded: “When I heard the city of Burbank was looking for artists to paint the boxes, I was at the dog park. I sent a quick sketch to angle for the job. Little dogs were jumping off the table and they look so powerful when they are airborne. That's where it started,” Laurah said. The painting took five 8-hour days to complete and it shows. She continued, “People were kind enough to offer their dogs as subjects. People walked by and asked if their dog could be included. My only regret is that I ran out of space (and time) on the box. I would have painted them all.” Laurah is AWESOME!!! To see more of Laurah‘s work visit her website: lmgportfolio.com, which provides a broader view of everything she can do as an illustrator, from custom work to order, illustrations, paintings, murals and more, fitting any budget.

Artist Laurah Grijalva inspiration behind her Burbank street utility box mural Rocket Dog. Rocket Dogs by artist Laurah Grijalva.

Now whenever we’re walking on that street, I make it a point to drag my pawrents towards the Rocket Dogs utility box (and I don’t even pee on it, cause I’m a big girl : ) It’s my new favorite thing to do. But not my only favorite thing. I recently discovered that if I keep turning fast enough, I can chase my own tail. I never understood the appeal when watching other pups do it but I SOOOO get it now. I wonder what else I’ve been missing out on. Oh no, I’m doing it again, aren’t I? I must learn to focus, you know, a trick to center myself to keep my thoughts on one train track…if you know what I mean. Oh well...my only consolation prize is sleep will come easy tonight and I’ll be flying off to dreamyland in search of the fluffiest clouds.

Okay I'm going to go play now... signing off 😉

About the author: Willow, a Bichon Frise mix with eyes that’ll melt your heart is a daddy’s girl. She is also the first in line to go walking, first to get food, first for kisses and cuddles. Whatever it is, Willow likes to be FIRST. She spent most of her life living in shelters so things haven't always been easy. But now, she gets to write about dog fashion, her new family and cool lil brother Dilla. Cool as a cucumber and named after the late amazing record producer J Dilla, Dilla is a Boston Terrier and French Bulldog mix. Admittedly, he hasn't always been a fan of dressing up, but Dilla has come to dig only dog clothes that are comfortable and functional. Hoodies and sweaters are his favorite! Join these two as they help pups unleash their fashionable side.