It’s almost enough to restore my faith in humanity. Of course almost is the key word in that sentence.
But all kidding aside, I rarely find articles I enjoy, much less agree with, in The New York Times. So imagine my surprise when my almost-daily search for blog fodder turned up an utterly cool, totally heartwarming story there earlier this month.
Written by Winnie Hu, the February 7 story was about the pet food pantries popping up in New York City and surrounding suburbs. Thanks to them, a lot of people who are often forced to choose between buying food for themselves or their pets are no longer confronted by that agonizing decision. People who were once forced to surrender — or worse yet abandon — their pet because they couldn’t afford to feed it now know there is a place to get canned food or kibble for their dog or cat.
I am sure there are plenty of skeptics — and critics — like the man quoted in Hu’s article. I won’t waste my breath on them. They just don’t get it — and they probably never will … unless they spend some time volunteering at an animal shelter, or at least visiting one. Perhaps if they heard the cries of a dog newly separated from the only owner it has ever known, or seen the look on the owner’s face after he or she has left their dog or cat at a shelter, they would finally understand.
Maybe then they would finally realize what those of us who love our pets have always known; that there is something animals give freely regardless of their caregiver’s race, religion, gender identity, sexual preference or socioeconomic standing. It’s something that people don’t give unconditionally and it’s something all the money in the world can’t buy. It’s something called love … and that’s something to think about.