by John Law
When I was a kid, if it was a special day, we would go to Siegel's Guns on West Mac in Oakland and I would see the Doggie Diner on the trip. My dad was a collector with no money, so would instead go occasionally to see stuff he couldn't afford.
If it was a REALLY special day, we stopped at Doggie Diner on the way home. :)
I first saw one about ten years ago. I'd lived in SF for quite a few years, but didn't get out to places like the Oceanside and Mission Terrace much until I moved in with a few lovers in Glen Park. When I first saw the Doggie on the pole near the Zoo, my first reaction was WTF, and it kicked off yet another lesson in the delightful offbeat history of San Francisco and its people. Backing this project has educated me even more. I'm living a good 10,000 miles away right now, but I'll be back, and at the risk of triggering an old cliché, in my heart I'll always be a San Franciscan.
Hearing the Mermen playing in the distance and seeing the Doggie heads at BRC '96...
Andres, we definitely want to read about most memorable as well. Do share!
These are great—what fun and varied experiences. Thanks everyone!
Keep 'em comin!
When I moved to SF from North Carolina in 1976, I saw the dog heads and knew I had made the right decision to travel via a one way airplane ticket.
I took a bunch of photos in '77, and they are posted at http://doggiediner.com.
John allowed me to use the heads in my holiday card event a few years back. I thanked John for allowing me to use his dog heads. He said, "They're OUR dog heads." Thats one big reason I'm contributing to the makeover of the dog heads.
Life, itself, would not be the same without the Doggie Diner heads.
I have two memories. My mother would take met too the DD in Hayward after we checked out books at the library across the street. I looked foreward to the weekly trip. I also ate at the DD near the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose after a Girl Scout trip to the House. Both are great Memories.
A doghead saved my life at Burning Man in '93. My first whiteout, visibility zero, and like a fool I started walking in what I thought was the direction of camp. Some instinct forced me to stop, get down, and slowly scan around me in a 360. Like a shimmering beacon of hope, a pup appeared through the swirling chaos...in exactly the opposite direction from where I had been headed, showing me the way back to shelter and whiskey. Praise Dogminicon I lived to tell the tale.
I may have first seen the Doggie Diner heads around 2005 on the Embarcadero.
But in the '80's I ate at the Doggie Diner in Mill Valley when I was volunteering at the Mill Valley Film Festival offices nearby.
Hmmm... let me think. *First*? I had one very memorable encounter with all three of them (in SF) at some point, but that wasn't the *first*.
Around 1970, when I was attending SF State, I spent many nights hacking in the computer lab (using remote access via IBM 2741 terminals to Stanford's Wylbur system). There were frequent late-night visits to the nearby Doggy Diner.