Another Grinch. And this one succeeded in stealing Christmas from me!
Y’all know I’m an Atheist. Christmas as a religious holiday means nothing to me. Since my family is away, I’m on my own today. Sleeping in, planning a couple of nice meals. You know, making the day a little bit special. So there I am, eating my Eggs Benedict (which I flubbed!) and in comes this email. It’s from NextDoor. Subject: Pets
Yesterday afternoon there was a vagrant standing in the middle of This Street near This other Street. He was trying to squeeze a puppy into his jacket. I see no reason why animals should be with people who are unable to care for themselves. So I made many calls to get help for the puppy. Finally the Richmond PD said they would cruise the area to see if the man was still in the middle of the street. I should probably mind my own business but it broke my heart. Sometimes it is hard to know where to draw the line. I didn’t want to ruin this man’s Holiday but it was obvious the animal probably wasn’t going to get proper care. Merry Christmas from my house to yours.
(Above edited to obscure the exact location. I substituted the words in italics for the author’s original street names.)
I replied on NextDoor:
Holy <expletive deleted>! Thank you for ruining the day for me. In the spirit of the season – to which you specifically refer in your final sentence – could you not have found even one iota of compassion for the human? I mean seriously – you called the police to help the dog – without any thought to the circumstances of the man?
I never imagined that such cruelty could lurk so close to my home.
I’m not a dog person (nor a cat person, nor any kind of pet person), but even I know that pets – dogs especially – are more than pets to their “owners”. They are companions. And for that man, the dog was – possibly – the only thing good in his world.
And you, without any attempt to ascertain the specific circumstances, did your level best to take that from him.
But I must say “Thank You” for one thing. Before I wrote this, I searched for homeless shelter charities in our area and donated $100 to GRIP (Greater Richmond Interfaith Program.) I just had to counter your callousness. Not the best motivation for a charitable donation, but certainly not the worst.
When I searched for a charity, I was disappointed to find no local – secular based – charities. But GRIP has member congregations from a wide spectrum of faith, including Muslims, Jews, and Unitarian Universalists (and yes – LOTS of various Christian denominations), so it’s unlikely that they proselytize their clients. In this case, my charity choice was driven by a desire to specifically help in my city on the issue of homelessness. And that overrode my normal preference for non-religious charities.
OK. Calming down now. Carry on. Enjoy the rest of your day.
But if this has upset you anywhere nearly as much as it upset me, please take time today to find and contribute to YOUR local homeless charity. If you one that also supports the pets of the homeless, so much the better.