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Heliotrope founder Jonathan Plotzker is the first to admit that his dog is spoiled. Laika, (named after the first dog in space, not the camera company), accompanies Jonathan to work at Acacia on Valencia each day. Sometimes they walk; other days, they drive. On driving days, Jonathan has to move his car every two hours. That means Laika gets a walk every two hours. Not a bad life for a pup.
Inside Acacia, it's easy to overlook Laika. Most of the time, this five-year-old cattle dog-dachshund rescue sleeps in her bed under a table in the middle of the shop. When she's not napping, Laika happily accepts ear scratches from strangers, gives her paw of approval to new dog products in the store, and models a growing selection of bandanas. (Occasionally, her neckwear matches Jonathan's.)
On more than one occasion, customers have asked Jonathan if she's a real dog. "Seriously?" he questions. "Would we have a fake dog under our table?" Then again, it is the Mission. It wouldn't be the weirdest thing on display in the neighborhood.
If you're on Valencia this weekend, stop in and say hello to Laika. And don't forget the ear scratches.