The Bitch Is Back

My bitch came back over one simple word.  Adoption.

I took my dog to a dog park where a lady, let’s call her “Redjacket” asked me when I’d adopted my dog, seeing as how we were kind of new to the clique. I am not a Dog Person- hell; I’m barely a people person.  I just looked like a dog person because I was at a dog park.  I have a dog and I like her, and that is all.

Lucky in the park

My dog has a comfortable life.  She has  shelter, companionship, a good vet and a kennel. Treats. Toys.  She is groomed and trained and sung to sleep each night.  Pretty good for a dog, if you ask me. She is happy.

What she is not is adopted.

So Redjacket asked me when we adopted our dog, and I told her we’ve had her for about a year.  Redjacket encouraged me to adopt another, as a companion for the first.  She, by the way, had three dogs in tow.

“Get a pet for the pet?”  I laughed. I thought we were joking around.  We were not.

“She is not a pet.” Redjacket fumed. “She’s a member of your family.  You make promises when you adopt an animal.  She’ll need a pack.”  She went on like this for a while, stressing the importance of responsible pet adoption.  I nodded, and smiled, or maybe winced, and kept an eye on my dog, which was chasing in a circle after hers.

While she prattled on, I thought of the day my brother came home.  My sister and I got all dressed up, and went to an office downtown with our parents. We all went into a little nursery where we met him, also dressed up.  He was only six weeks old; his black wavy hair brushed down around his ears.  He was lying on his back, gazing at a mobile, until I walked over and put my hand through the slats of the crib to touch him- our new baby.  He turned his head and looked me in the eye.  And then he grabbed my fingers.  I felt like he knew he was my baby brother as sure as I knew I was his sister.

Suddenly, I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Animals aren’t adopted. People are.”

And then, I was a Bitch. Me AND my dog.  And now, when we see that lady at the park, and our actual bitches run to cavort, Redjacket and I look the other way.

My brother was adopted.

My dog was not.

He is family.

She is A PET.

The dog doesn’t play a trumpet, or hold my hand when I’m scared or sad.  Because she’s a dog.  Off the furniture, eating dog food, and sleeping on her blankie – where pets belong.

Fine. I’m a Bitch.  I can live with it.

November is National Adoption Month in case you’re interested in supporting a child as well as many support their dogs.


Thanks, Amen.

About thanks amen

Michelle is an artist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin whose professional experience spans working as an educator, nonprofit executive, and consultant. She has a fear of clowns and pecans, and works every day to listen at least twice as much as she talks.
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2 Responses to The Bitch Is Back

  1. Kia says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Really liked the post. While not related to adoption, and what it truly means, I think I can relate. I have a cat. After I saw a mouse in my house, the cat seemed like the logical next step. Sometimes people call me his ‘mommy.’ This drives me CRAZY. Maybe I am extra sensitive b/c I am not a real ‘mommy,’ but I never got my cat with an eye on considering him my child. No kitty daycare. No clothes. No dressing up for Halloween. While others enjoy or find a need for this, I find that as long as he is fed, watered, has a clean litterbox and toys, he is content and does his job — keeps mice out of my house 🙂

  2. Bryan says:

    Love the post. Funny and right on point. While I am very happy that there are people out in the world who love being extra nice to animals, saying they are “just as important as other people kids” takes it to far. If you are one of those people who think like that, you shouldn’t try to force others to believe it too. And especially if those others have real kids of their own.

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