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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pet Something

Most of my young life, and again during my first marriage, there was always a dog in the house. I remember times when the dog was the only one I could tell my troubles to, and the dog always listened--as long as I kept stroking its head!

But I haven't lived with a dog for a long, long time.

So while we were in Bali with friends over Chinese New Year, I saw something that brought back memories.

To my surprise, we didn't see any beggars working the streets. I've grown so used to them here in China, and in the Philippines, that their absence was notable.

We did see one in a restaurant, though, and he had a unique hustle: he was carrying around a puppy, and handing it to people.

I never did find out his story: Was he begging for money to buy the dog food? Or was he just offering a chance to pet the puppy in exchange for a donation?

Whatever the deal was, I can tell you: people were happily petting that puppy, and paying for the privilege.

You who have pets--pettable pets, not goldfish or canaries--know what I'm talking about. There is a very deep, almost nostalgic pleasure in petting a dog or a cat, or grooming a horse. The intimate contact with another sentient but non-human being has been a constant in the evolution of our kind.

So hug a hound, cradle a cat. Get in "touch" with nature.

Pet something.

You'll be happier.

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