The dog of ivy

… stands guard in the San Fernando Valley, providing poodle thoughts for Zippy on his morning walk today:

(#1) Zipphorism: “Sometimes I feel like my thoughts are thinking me”

We are figments of our thoughts’ imagination; the topiary poodle tells us so.

A giant poodle of ivy is at once adorable — it’s a poodle (well, a poodle-simulacrum), smart, playful, and affectionate; and it’s made of a living thing — and menacing — it’s made of a living thing; it’s faceless and immobile; and it’s hugely, hulkingly bigger than any human being. This one is, of course, a real object in a real place. From the Roadside America site:


[from M. Maki on 2/21/09:] At Plummer Street and Hayvenhurst Avenue [in North Hills CA], a 15-foot topiary poodle was she[a]red to life by North Hills resident Brian Welch approximately twenty years ago from ivy overgrowing a telephone pole, its support wires and Welch’s fence. Named “Ivy Poodle,” the pooch wears a red ribbon collar at Christmas.

As for North Hills, like most of the Valley, it’s old farmland that’s been suburbanized. From Wikipedia:


North Hills is a community in the north-central San Fernando Valley, and within the City of Los Angeles, California.

North Hills was originally an agricultural community known as Mission Acres. After WWII, the newly-developed suburban community was renamed Sepulveda [after Sepulveda Boulevard, a main thoroughfare in the town]. In the latter 1990s, it was renamed North Hills.

Northridge is to the west, Panorama City is to the east, Van Nuys is to the south, and Granada Hills to the north.

It was only in writing this up this morning that I discovered that the town I knew as Sepulveda (from visits to L.A. from the 60s through the 80s) and the town of North Hills that I’d read about occasionally in recent years were in fact the same place.

As for Sepulveda Boulevard, it was the boulevard I wrote about in my 3/26/17 posting “On the boulevard of broken dreams with [gay pornstar] Kip Noll”. Though I suspect there’s not a lot of gay life up on the northern reaches of Sepulveda (the street comes to an end a few miles north of North Hills, in Mission Hills).


One Response to “The dog of ivy”

  1. maxvasilatos Says:

    From “topiary poodle” I expected a weird crop job on a poodle, a la topiary tree.

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