In a cozy, hilltop home, we’re hunkering down with rescue pup Haru, and taking in amazing views of downtown San Francisco.
Haru’s parents are the same owners of Silas (RIP 2003-2019), who we petsat before the pandemic. The four-year old mixed breed lives in a beautiful wood-shingled home at the top of the Corona Heights neighborhood in what is more broadly known as Eureka Valley.
Due to a traumatic past, Haru is very much a homebody. Shy and sweet, it takes her a while to warm up to people. While curious, she remains cautious with newcomers, often peeking out from her “safe space” in the master bedroom. When feeling brave, she’ll take a few steps into the hallway, but then quickly retreat.
Fortunately, it’s easy to stay put in Haru’s home. Perched atop a hill, the expansive windows offer constantly-changing views of passing cars, cyclists and people getting exercise on nearby Pemberton Place Steps. There’s also a fascinating daily occurrence of a motley gang of young skateboarders. Every afternoon, they defy gravity on the long ride down to the Castro, unfazed by the steep grade.
Out in the distance, the Sales Force tower dominates the downtown skyline alongside a multitude of skyscrapers.
During the day, the scene looks like a mirage with the deep blue waters of the bay glistening in the sun. In the evening, the towering buildings sparkle against the sky – the view is a reminder of how magical it is to live in San Francisco.
Haru spends most of her time relaxing in the master bedroom with the familiar scents and surroundings of her humans.
Each morning, she greets us in the hallway. She sits upright and wags her tail eagerly. As we approach her, she gently jumps up to show her enthusiasm – “the day is beginning!” she seems to want to communicate to us. We open up the French doors of the kitchen and out she sprints to the sunny back deck.
Immediately making her way down the spiral staircase, she explores the expansive garden below. This type of backyard space is rare for San Francisco. Fortunately for Haru, it makes for the perfect respite – a place to discover the outside world, without any scary humans or cars!
After the initial excitement, Haru heads back inside to eat and settle in for a peaceful morning.
While working throughout the day, we’re treated to the occasional guest appearance by Haru. Taking a few steps into the main room, she checks out the scene before once again, heading back to the master bedroom. One thing that gets her to stick around is when we eat pizza. Leftover crusts are her favorite (especially from Pink Onion)!
In the early afternoon, we usually take a break and head out to explore the neighborhood. The closest enclave of shops and restaurants is in Cole Valley – just a 15-minute walk away. The outing is part of our weekly routine that also includes local stops like grocery shopping at Luke’s, grabbing a coffee at Wooden Spoon, or getting a tasty meal to go from Middle Eastern restaurant, Beit Rima.
One day, we took Haru on a trip to Point Reyes, a protected coastline in Northern California’s Marin County.
Admittedly, Haru is not at her best on road trips (lots of pacing and anxious whining). But once at her destination, she is curious about the new surroundings and eventually settles in. On this particular outing, we brought along one of Haru’s pals, another petsitting pup of ours, husky Rita, who lives in Noe Valley.
Evenings with Haru are especially entertaining. At 8pm, without fail, she begins a nightly performance – jumping up and down and stammering her front paws back and forth. This signature ritual signals its time for her “toothbrush,” a minty, chewy stick that’s her absolute favorite. It’s hilarious to watch the otherwise mild-mannered Haru put on such a show.
After gobbling up the treat in record time, Haru once again, retreats to the master bedroom, leaving us with the beauty of San Francisco’s twinkling evening skyline.