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First:

I'm sorry you lost your job and may be losing your home.  But don't think that just because your beloved dog is too expensive to feed and care for that you can solve that problem by driving to the country and "dropping him off".

The roads and byways of south central Virginia are littered with the bodies of house pets that stupid owners thought could "return to the wild", feeding themselves on imaginary mice and possums.  These poor creatures, bewildered and confused, don't understand loaded lumber trucks barreling along at 65 mph.  They have no experience with vicious teenagers with gun racks that think shooting things is fun.  They are not used to people who are afraid of them.

They wander up and down the road, lost and hungry, wagging their tails at passing cars, not understanding why you don't come back for them.  They get run over, shot, and they starve.  They meander into a farmers pig pen to investigate, and get badly chewed up by the pigs, just before the farmer unloads buck shot into their hide.

Those of us in rural areas all have dogs.  Most of us have several.  We can't adopt your pets, and assuming that some kind person will rescue your abandoned dog is evil and stupid.

If you can't take care of your dog take it to a shelter.  

Explain to the nice person behind the desk that it is a Good Dog.  Tell them what he, or she, can do and how they act around children.  Give your pet a chance to find another home.  Don't consign your friend to a lonely, frightened, hungry few days before it is killed by a car or truck, or shot by someone who feels threatened.

Second:

Patience is a virtue.

Old people know that patience is a carefully cultivates skill that smooths the vageries of daily life.  It is the first step to wisdom.

When our culture began to value the younger generation above all else, we focused on the immediacy that children everywhere demand.  They demand the now, the "when I want it" to the exclusion of all else.  The media, anxious to follow, rather than lead, breathlessly promoted the moment to moment events of daily life above the longer, more thoughtful view.  And this impatience has crept insatiably into our politics, as well.

We want results now.  We want our agenda addressed immediately.  We expect our fondest demands to be center stage, right away.  Like the 9 year old awaiting Saturday, and the trip to the circus, nothing happens fast enough.

If we value the next generation, really value them, we will stop letting the Sturm and Drang of sub-adulthood set the standards for daily life.  We will teach, by example, the virtue of patience.  We will stop expecting that everything we want be given to us this minute, and let events unfold in their own time.  

We will step back and reclaim the adult role that recognizes that everything can not happen right this minute.  And, the world will be a better place.

Originally posted to Granny Doc on Sat Mar 14, 2009 at 02:49 PM PDT.

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