On Dogs and Prejudice
Monday Musings from Melinda #2
by LHS contributor Melinda M
I was prejudiced about dogs.
They are needy, expensive, lick you, and are needy. Did I mention needy?
I have always been more of a cat person because, you know, they’re not so needy.
Then, after persistent persuasion from my teen daughters going back to their first letter to Santa, I caved.So, we contacted Aloha Ilio Rescue, run by Daylynn Kyles totally on her own personal time and on the personal time of her friends. She “rescues” dogs by adopting them out from the humane society to a network of foster owners or by helping people re-home their dog for various reasons.
I asked her to keep an eye out for our perfect dog: a mixed breed (presumably to reduce expenses) that is small, doesn’t shed, and was 3 to 4 years old because I didn’t have the time or experience for a puppy but wanted one that would likely live to see the girls graduate high school in 6 years.
We kept our eyes out, too, and one day, saw “Anna May” on the Humane Society’s website and then, a few days later, on Daylynn’s website! One of her foster angels rescued her and felt she’d make someone’s perfect pet.
A rendezvous was arranged. My oldest was suddenly hesitant. Maybe she didn’t want a dog after all.
But then we saw her and it was love at first sight. The girls took her for a lap around Shipman Park and came back with smiles I thought would break their face.
After a month of giving our heart over to her, and taking her on walks in the driving Hilo rain, we learned several things about the dog we named Daisy: she was between 6 and 8 years old, deaf or nearly so, doesn’t like to cuddle and had cancer, which would cost about $600 to excise.
Turns out the only qualification of ours she matched was her size.
But here’s what chokes me up to this day: I am so prejudiced. If I had known any one of those things early on, and certainly all of those things, there is no way we would’ve adopted Daisy. And just typing those words makes a big lump of shame and sadness rise up in my throat because of course I can’t imagine our life without her – none of us can. She is perfect for us in every way. Except for the shedding. There is definitely a lot of shedding.
I still have a soft spot for cats and I am still prejudiced about dogs, only a different kind of prejudice: they make you needy – make you need to slow down, meet your neighbors, demonstrate love, and get fresh air. They also make you feel the need to examine if your prejudices are keeping you from forming fulfilling relationships. #adoptdontshop