Good idea, Renee!
Like Jill, I can’t exactly look after a dog right now. But I have always been a dog lover. I grew up with a Doberman, Joy, in the house, and that dog was responsible for many great deeds, including saving my mother from an attacker on the stairs of our old building in Kiev. I’ll never forget the day that Joy was put to sleep, after a long and illustrious twelve years with us. I was in my freshman year at university, and I sat on the steps of the East Campus Union building, crying in the winter rain. I had been seriously depressed in the months following that day and, curiously enough, my depression started to get better on the day that Joy left us. It was as if in departing, she took a small piece of my excruciating sadness with her. Sounds pretty maudlin, but that’s how I have always viewed it. I can’t explain it any other way. It would have been more likely for things to have started to get worse, but they didn’t.
After graduating from college, I adopted, along with my boyfriend, a lovely stray named Zara. We had to give her up when moving to the Middle East. It sucked, but she has a good home now, and that’s what’s important. I couldn’t imagine her in the urban jungle of Dubai, living in a high rise, and I can’t imagine her now in Amman, in our tiny apartment.
I know that if I have a future, dogs must be in it, though. For reals.
Here is a picture of me and lovely Zara:
I don’t have any digital images of Joy on hand, but will have to scan them in the next time I am back in Kiev.
Of course, the timing of Renee’s post is especially ironic for me – since we took in two fat kittehs on the day that she published it. We have named them Fanty & Mingo and really hope we get to keep them (there is some weirdness with their original owners at the moment, since we got them from a person who, the original owners had assumed, would keep them forever). Here they are, in all of their lazy, imperious glory:
Cats are certainly more low-maintenance, though they never seem to think of themselves as anything other than high-maintenance. I suppose this is why we love them. In his book, The World Without Us, Alan Weisman has a few great asides on cats (he’s talking about how they destroy songbird populations – and I agree that it’s an important topic, especially for anyone who thinks that letting pretty kitteh roam outside is perfectly harmless) – among them the notion that they have “trained” us to take care of them.
Weisman’s right. 🙂