It's not that I oppose direct democracy, per se, but that I don't see the utility in this particular ballot measure. When schools are chronically underfunded, I do not want tax payers voting to keep unwanted animals alive.
This time as I decline, the lady says, "What, you don't love animals?"
I respond, "To eat! Otherwise, not so much."
It's not my kindest moment and the woman realizes it. She shoots me a horrified look, as though I just gave a Heil Hitler, but this quickly turns to pity. The woman looks down on my lack of compassion.
"I'm sorry. I know that you really believe in this and I respect what you're doing, volunteering your time and all. It's just that I'm not a pet person."
* * *
Six years later, I'm sitting on the couch. Skye sighs heavily, letting me know in the gentlest way possible that she wants to play. I'm tired, but I oblige. And so begins a rousing game of chase. Bizarre. I'm a grown man chasing a Scottish Terrier around the tile floor and then letting her chase me.
On some level, I still don't get the love of pets. I don't understand paying exorbitant amounts of money on food and surgery and customized chew toys. A pet is, after all, just a pet. Yet, in having a pet, I notice that I pay closer attention to body language. I'm a little more patient. Not a lot, but enough to realize that pets play a bigger role in life than I had once imagined.
I'm not one to write a book about how I can learn about God through whispering to sheep dogs. Nor am I one to call the animal who licks its ass "a member of our family." Still, Skye has her place in our home and oddly enough, I'm glad she's around.