“We love our pets too,” the sign began. After that there were a half-dozen examples of how much the authors of the sign loved their and others’ pets. It finished with, “so please understand us when we say, no pets allowed.” It was, and presumably still is a fair warning. That sign is sharing space with the doorway to a used construction emporium. An indoor junkyard if you will.
All throughout the building are stacks of windows, doors slid into stands, boxes of hinges and door pulls and faucet handles, rows of bath tubs, racks of counter tops, mountains of marble slabs, and hangers of hanging lamps. Everywhere there are things made of wood, metal, glass, and porcelain. All covered in the same dust the previous owners left and many with rusty connectors, sharp corners, and other things that hurt. And right over there picking his way through the used kitchen counter tops on his way to the door frames is a middle-aged man attached by a leash to a forbidden dog.
He had to have seen the sign. You couldn’t get in without seeing it. And a sign that large means that something once happened and there should be no chance of letting it happen again. He had to have seen it. But he probably said to himself as his breezed on by, that was meant for people with animals. His dog is a people. His buddy. His pal. He wasn’t going to leave his best friend in a car while he perused the once heat producing radiators. And he certainly wasn’t going to leave his only friend at home while he enjoyed his day of exploration among the once water-filled toilets. Nope, he didn’t get to be his age and survive all alone without the help of his furry friend. He certainly wasn’t going to turn his back on him on his only day away from the office just because he couldn’t find the right color lavatory sink at the home remodeling center.
Both of We love animals. Together we span over 100 pet years. At some point our houses have been home to dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits, fish, crabs, and for a very brief time even a snake although technically he was a runaway. Our pets have always held that special place in our hearts and our homes that are special to our pets also. They’ve shared our spaces and our affections. Our pet affections. And pet spaces. They didn’t go on vacations with us, and they don’t go to work with us. When we see a sign that says “no dogs allowed” we don’t take that to mean no regular, aka other people’s dogs allowed.
Pets are pets. They aren’t surrogate children. They aren’t surrogate spouses. They aren’t the exception to the rule. If a tower of ceramic tiles is going to fall and the “special” dog happens to be standing there when they do, they aren’t going to stop in midair and wait for “special” to make his way clear of the danger aisle.
We don’t feel sorry for the person who can’t manage long term human relationships and has to settle for the four legged variety. We feel sorry for the four legged variety stuck with the human who thinks “living a dog’s life” is a bad thing.
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?