Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No Puppy No Cry

We are still in search of our new puppy, the girls' birthday present. They have been begging for a dog for easily half their lives. Well I am ready for a hairy, smelly, slobbery new friend.

We're waiting to hear from two foster parents who have puppies posted online, and we're making the rounds at the pounds. We visited a shelter yesterday, and I was overwhelmed with this thought: "I am doing the wrong thing with my life. Who gives a damn about shelving policies and classification schemes for "information packages" when there is such a huge yawning NEED right here. These dogs need help!

I knew I wasn't being entirely rational. What was I going to do --be a dog handler? Become an animal control person? Open a shelter of my own? If I was so moved, probably the best way I could help was to become a volunteer at the shelter, and make an occasional donation.

But nonetheless, I couldn't shake the feeling that I wanted to go to work every day knowing I was really making a difference. Working hard yes, but doing work that counted with whatever time I had left on this earth. Well, those are nice thoughts. I guess the first test of my sincerity would be whether or not I show up again at the shelter to volunteer. The nice girl we talked to said the girls and I could help out with socializing the animals.

I often have the same thought about finding work that helps people more directly. Yeah, yeah---librarians help people. They're performing a public service --blah, blah, blah. But the job is pretty removed, actually, from human suffering. I think the work of teachers is more important. But I don't have the right temperment. I learned that working as a substitute teacher for five months in Miami, in the spring of 1990. Social work and counseling ---too scary. I don't think I have the entrails to deal with people's problems so closely. So I don't know what to do.

In other news, I went to an estate sale on Sunday and I found a pair of tap dance shoes covered with purple glitter for a dollar! How could I pass them up? You just never know when you might need a pair of purple glittery tap dance shoes.


  1. adopt a dog from the pound. donate dog food to the pound. give money. and know that you, mom, will be intricately involved in the raising of the pound puppy, because as well-intentioned as 10 and 12 year old girls are,,things happen, and mom will end up feeding and walking and taking said dog to the vet. and that's what you can do to make a difference.

  2. yay! The W-B family is getting a dog!? Awesome! I'm siked you got those tap shoes--awesome.

  3. I hear ya on that wanting to make a difference. I enjoy my work, but I'm not sure I can say it's more a part of the solution than part of the problem. Sometimes I envy therapists and social workers who really know they're making a positive difference in people's lives. But I do know that whatever I do, it has to be something that I enjoy, or I won't be able to sustain it.

  4. I think you are supposed to tap dance to help people cope with their miserable lives. Dance, Shimmy, Dance!