The Goddess Speaks
Dog lovers sometimes go Roverboard
I'm not a dog person. I have a dog. I love my dog. I pet her, walk her, play with her and am generally responsible for her well-being. But I'm just not one of those "dog people."
I can tell because I do know several individuals who are.
There's something special about this particular breed of human being. They are a little bit more in love with and a tad bit more involved with the canine species than the rest of us regular-type owners.
I once shared a house with my friend Caroline. One dog wasn't enough for her. Even with two she would still take in strays. Our yard became a halfway house for wayward dogs; her monthly budget stretched to buy kibble and pay the vet.
She'd find these poor, underfed mongrels on the side of the road, ribs sticking out, mange infesting their fur. She couldn't leave them behind. Grabbing a towel from the trunk, she'd nestle her new charge onto the back seat and bring it home to nurse it back to health. She could not bear to see this animal suffer. And if she couldn't fine a suitable home for it, our yard became its new abode.
My new friend Catherine is kind of like this, too. She is devoted to her two dogs. She spends quality time with them every day and speaks of them as does a parent who dotes on her children.
While she doesn't bring home strays, she has been known to visit them regularly in their natural environment with food and water and a toy or two.
Then there are Candy and Kathy and even my sister Boo. While none of these three go so far as to tend to homeless canine flocks, all have deep connections with their own pooches and a keen interest in those of others.
They love my dog in ways I'm not able to extend to theirs. When I visit their houses, I am polite and greet the pets. I'll even offer a treat or throw a ball a few times. But I can't embrace scratching and snuggling them, as I do with my own.
Coincidentally, each of these women has a dog that suffered major health problems in the past year. It was devastating for them. I could see the distraction in their eyes and hear the tears in their voices.
I can't say why most of my girlfriends seem to be "dog people" when I am so clearly another species. I just gravitate to these nurturing types.
Now, I'm not saying I wouldn't help a stray, care for somebody else's pet or take care of a sick dog. It just wouldn't be the same. I'd do it out of duty.
These women are somehow different. It's in their sensibilities. They are hard-wired to have deep and meaningful relationships with their dogs. In this dog-eat-dog world of ours, this is what makes them a standout breed of their own.
Lorraine Gershun is publications adviser for Searider Productions at Waianae High School.
The Goddess Speaks is a feature column by and about women. If you have something to say, write "The Goddess Speaks," 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210,
Honolulu 96813 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.