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Virtues and Vices

November 30, 2012

It’s funny how moralistic we are, isn’t it? We’re always putting ourselves in the good or bad category.

I hear this about food a lot. “I was so bad this weekend – I had margaritas and nachos at that Mexican place!” “I was so good, I just had the salad with dressing on the side.”

How about considering that you’re not good or bad based on what you eat. You may be making choices that will lead you to a more or less healthy life, but is that a question of morality?

People even make their dogs a moral statement. “She’s a rescue!” we say, proving that we aren’t so callous as to get a dog from a breeder when dogs in need languish in shelters.

It’s funny that no one would ever dare to call their adopted child a “rescue,” but it is ok for dogs.

I was thinking about Goldie and how I had saved her from pretty much certain death after so long in the county shelter. I should give myself a big moral pat on the back.

But no, that’s not it. Getting a dog is about the most common and most profound thing on earth, which is love.

It’s one of the best and craziest things humans do, I think. Take some shaggy, messy animal into our homes to eat our food and lay around all day. We can have no expectation that they’ll do much for us, unless we want to spend days training them to fetch our slippers – and even then, it’s really easier to get your own slippers, trust me.

So here it is in a nutshell: we just loved each other. Isn’t that enough?

Another Goldie

With sympathy for Senator Elizabeth Warren, who lost her golden retriever, Otis, today. Extra treats for everyone, as Kizz would say.

  1. Gretchen permalink
    November 30, 2012 09:24

    Made me cry at my desk – thanks a lot!

    • December 9, 2012 07:42

      Sorry, Gretchen! I just have to write this stuff out

  2. November 30, 2012 11:24

    Awwwww…but–scientists have come up with a lot of research that shows dogs do much more for us than just love us. They bring down our blood pressure, make us live longer, ease our depression, and all sort of other stuff I’ve forgotten!

    • December 9, 2012 07:43

      Yes, but I don’t see getting a dog as a utilitarian thing. It’s nice that they provide those benefits, though.

  3. November 30, 2012 21:15

    It IS enough. Yes.

  4. December 1, 2012 11:15

    I sent my condolences to Warren via Facebook. You really can’t just have a good streak and a bad streak, everything gets mixed together.

    That “she’s a rescue” thing, though, it helps keep me from punching folks in the face! 🙂

    • December 9, 2012 07:45

      I guess I should just be happy people are proud to have shelter dogs…because there are so many that need good homes.

  5. mar permalink
    December 3, 2012 14:53

    Stephen always says that Millie is “adopted” as if Grover were our natural child instead. Despite her many, many issues, I’m pretty sure that she rescued him from many of his PTSD issues. Grover’s my little brat and a total mama’s boy, lap hog.

    • December 9, 2012 07:45

      That’s hilarious. Grover IS kind of your natural child.

  6. December 5, 2012 05:54

    I tell people that Hooper rescued us. Because he did. The best $40 bucks I’ve ever spent in my life.

    • December 9, 2012 07:46

      Goldie was only $32. Plus $1900 for a rattlesnake bite, $1600 for a puncture wound plus plus plus…all worth it.

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