Sitting across from the banker, he chats easily with me while taking down some new contact information. The subject of dogs comes up.
We talk about dog adoption as a major commitment. Living with a dog is like having a perennially inquisitive child who is a lot of fun–an instant party really–and who is also capable of some serious mischief (read: potential object destruction).
“I had a friend who lost a dog recently,” the banker continues. “She’d had the dog for fifteen years and, after the dog’s passing, vowed she would never get another dog because the pain of losing the first was too great.” The banker pauses here looking to me for a response.
I cannot think of anything appropriate to say, so I refrain from speaking.
“Is that your experience?” he asks me more directly. The subject of our recently losing a dog had come up.
“No…,” I work on collecting my thoughts. “I think of relationships in terms of refuge. Consider how many dogs one person is capable of granting refuge to in the context of one human lifetime. Four? Five? Or more, if the person has the means, time and space. Think about how many animals we could save from being euthanized.”
“Yes, I hadn’t thought of it that way,” he responds with new consideration.
With our business concluded, I move out of his office, through the building and into the sunshine, thinking to myself, “People is your attatchment to your pain so great that you could not consider giving a fellow creature in need a place of refuge?” The walk home is long and sweet–though I would prefer to be sharing it with a four-legged friend.
*Notes on dog adoption. Animal adoption is a major commitment. On the plus side, dogs can grant us incredible companionship, devotion, loyalty and comfort with the added bonus of our having an “in-home personal trainer” in the form of a consistent walking companion. On the serious-considerations side, dogs present a major time and training commitment, with expenses for appropriate care, food, kenneling, extra space requirements, as well as cleaning obligations.