Thursday, September 22, 2011

Going going gone to the dogs

I should have caught this earlier, but alas I have been wrestling the kitchen demons.  So, way late & not one iota less for it:  September is National Guide Dog Month.

A long, Long, LONG time ago, I worked oh-so-briefly for a company with offices on the green in Morristown, NJ.  Morristown, NJ for those who do not know, is the home of The Seeing Eye, where the whole seeing eye dog moniker originated.  Funnily enough, I still hear people calling all kinds of service dogs seeing eye dogs, even the dogs helping people who can see just fine.

Anyhow, every day, rain or shine, the dogs in training would do convoluted laps around the green, encountering people, crosswalks, hotdog wagon, etc.  the green was a hopping place in those days & may still be, I have not set foot in Morristown since April 1994.

On an entirely (OKay not really) I have been following a story that is happening locally, in the great football mecca just east of me.  First you should know that there is a better-treated-than-average homeless population in that city.  I think liberal politics, moderate climate & high population turn-over what with the average citizen graduating in five short years (URP!).  A large homeless shelter & soup kitchen has finally gotten their dream legislation, specifically there is no longer a cap on how many meals they can serve in a day but instead a beginning & end to the hours they can serve.  This really is a good thing, even for people who think the homeless should be beat to death in the street (a favorite local pastime in that great cartoon mouse mecca to the south).  Instead of people always asking if there are any left, the giant clock on Century Tower will tell you whether or not you should hang around.

For a few years now, adjacent to the people facility, there has been a pet clinic.  & before you get in a twist about homeless people having pets, it turns out to have been a good idea.  It turns out a person who has no home, no family except a transitory, cobbled community, a person who has intermittent access to the prescriptions etc. that keep them from believing someone is out to get them, such a person is more likely to remain peaceful if they can share their lives with someone who does not care that they are homeless.  It turns out that someone is often a pet.

Not surprisingly, it also turns out to be better for the rest of us if those pets gets neutered/spayed, vaccinated, flea & tic treatment & general veterinary care.  & while they don't have the paperwork or the training to prove it, after watching homeless people & their pets, it is impossible not to see that each companion is a bona fide service animal.


  1. The great thing about dogs is that they don't care what the home looks like or even if there is one. I'm a total sucker for giving money to homeless people with dogs.

  2. Whenever we see a homeless person, either my husband or I will affirm "there but for the grace of God." And no person regardless of their economic situation should ever be denied the unconditional love given by a pet.

    Thank you for your post.