Around Town: Miss Hepburn becomes uncouth

Our canine companion, a black Labrador rescue dog from the Pasadena Humane Society, once was delicate. She now has turned rude and has become, at times, uncouth.

How did this happen? Personally, I blame the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) for her recent change in demeanor.

Our dog, Miss Audrey Hepburn, does not fly, therefore she has not experienced the TSA directly. But she does listen to Fox News, so she is well aware of the growing lack of public confidence in the TSA.

Recently, I caught Miss Hepburn drinking water out of the toilet. She never used to do this, and I'm sure it's the result of the TSA watch list.

Even more recently, I caught Miss Hepburn leaping over the kitchen counter, grabbing a small apple (it was organic) with her teeth while in midair before escaping up the stairs to hide under the bedcovers. When I next saw her, she nonchalantly delicately nibbled on the apple.

She never used to do these things. When Miss Hepburn came to us, we ordered stationery. ("Miss Audrey Hepburn apologizes for growling at you from behind the sofa.") It was all on the up and up.

But times have changed, and so has Miss Audrey Hepburn.

Some days, she actually chases The Cat. Therefore, I am certain that it was the stress of hearing Sen. Bernie Sanders' eight-and-a-half hour speech on CSPAN, plus the TSA coverage, which made Miss Hepburn thirsty for toilet water. My fault for leaving the TV set to CSPAN, but Animal Planet is too scary for her.

Back in the day, Miss Audrey Hepburn never did these unladylike things. True, she once ate half of a chocolate cake. And not just any cake. This was a special-recipe dark chocolate birthday cake with fudge icing that was secured, so we thought, in the cupboard. (See Around Town: Miss Hepburn Rides Again, 9-1-10) The episode resulted in yet another trip to the vet, who is very fond of Miss Hepburn and refers to her as "Ms. Hepburn."

Some think that Miss Audrey Hepburn is merely confused. Like some of us, she doesn't know if she's a Democrat or a Republican. Like most of us, she doesn't know what the IRS tax rate will be in 2011.

But that's where the similarity ends. She is a dog and we are human. When we walk the hallowed sidewalks of Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada Flintridge, California, Miss Hepburn and I both know that she is the dog and I am her human servant. Dog whisperers be damned. She leads and I follow. Nothing confusing about that.

Which is why I blame the TSA for this recent upheaval in Miss Hepburn's otherwise ladylike psyche.

Watch out. We'll be walking down Foothill Boulevard momentarily.

ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. E-mail her at

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