After my morning raisin bran I sat at my computer, looking at pictures of dogs at local rescue centers. We do not plan to adopt a new dog any time soon, but I find both comfort and heart-break in reading of small friends grasped from dire circumstances and transformed into potential companions for others.
I like the chatty essays about dogs with newly-applied fanciful names. I like the way that some sites write about individual dogs with special needs in a winning, convincing way. I admire people who do this kind of volunteer work, as people work to avoid euthanasia of healthy animals. I also admire people who, when faced with the sad situation of a their own pet having to be adopted out, take the time to find that pet a good home. Pet transitions are not ideal, but compassion helps. People find ways to show love and ensure pets are loved.
It's so difficult, sometimes, looking at the prejudices we bring even to the things we love. One such prejudie arises from the extent we are willing to love this person versus that person. I remember looking a few years ago at one of those websites that discusses children looking for adoptive homes. As one might expect, those seeking infants sometimes waited quite a while for an infant (and let's skip over, as a broader topic, the problem of ethnicity and adoption). What struck me was the way that age mattered so much and so predictably as to the available children. In the infant class, up through young toddler, lots of the readily available kids had very special needs. Yet at age 11 or 12, a fair-ish number of relatively "fewer-special-needs" chldren needed homes. I remember one heart-breaking story of a 12 year old who was an honor student, and really wanted to find a good home so that he could be encouraged to pursue his education and perhaps go to college someday. Such things remind me how many advantages I had, growing up in a home where I was loved. I take such reminders as silent sermons--"use what you have, don't squander, help. I won't be adopting anyone, but I think I can help.