Thursday, August 11, 2011

Walking away

Today's accomplishment: going to the SPCA and NOT bringing home a dog.

None of my mom's children live in the United States but all of our dogs do. Three to be exact. Yes, mom has three dogs. It's like a miniature parade when she takes them for a walk. They are pretty spoiled. Not only do they have full run of the house (and sleep in the bed whenever Dad's not around) but they also have their own personal groomer, who comes to the house in her dog-mobile, and play dates with their doggy friends in the neighborhood. They're nuts...or maybe we are?

Anyways, now that she has adopted all her kids' dogs, you can probably understand why my mom so vehemently opposes even the idea of me getting a dog. Here's how our skype convo went today:

Emmajoy:     i'm going to the SPCA today

                     you can't stop me

NancyB:      Where are you!!

                    They don't even have an SPCA

                    Where is the SPCA

                   Where are you

                   You better not get a dog

                   This is your MOTHER!!!!

Despite her digital threats, I did actually go. I know you're probably thinking "An SPCA in Africa? Really?" But there is actually an SPCA here, and it's not as terrible as you might imagine. In fact it's pretty nice. Usually when I go to the SPCA I feel so sad for the dogs there that I just have to bring one home. But the truth is that these dogs with their bowls full of food and water, their little shelters and beautiful yard are much better-off than a lot of children in Africa. What kind of a mixed up country do we live in where an animal has a better life than a child?

I was petting one curly-haired little cuteness and feeling so much emotion, pity and compassion, that I actually had to pull myself away from him. And then I thought back to the day before and the little boy I met on the street asking me for food. Why didn't I feel half the same way for him? Granted, it might have something to do with the fact that this little puppy was showering me with the most adorable wet kisses, but why didn't compassion and pity well up in my heart for that boy, that fellow human being, the way it did for this dog?

It scared me.

And that's why I had to walk away. I'm not saying I won't still get a dog eventually (don't tell my mom). And yes, I'm sure it will always break my heart to see little puppies on the street, but I loathe the day when I feel more compassion for an animal than a child.

And so I walked away today without a dog...but certainly a lot to think about.

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