Friday, October 10, 2008


Sally goes to dog school. Sally will be two in December, and as such still has a lot of puppy energy that needs to be burned off. When I got her, one of the benefits was to be that I would get some exercise while she got exercise. And that largely is the case. There is a small group of us who walk while at the dog park, mostly because our dogs would just lay there if we weren't moving.

But a couple of times a week I take her to dog school. No, they don't actually teach them anything unless I want to pay extra, but they do reinforce good manners and let the dogs play all day. Sal comes home exhausted, and I can focus on Mr W or not feel guilty about going out that night.

Dog school is located in an industrial park-type area, and it happens to be across the street from our local food bank. A couple of times a week, if I get Sal to dog school before 9:00 am, there are people lined up outside the food bank, each with a shopping cart that the food bank provides. Lately there have been 15-20 people in line.

I am conflicted about this. Here I am, doing something that is, by any definition, a luxury, a perk, a convenience. These people actually need food, or they wouldn't be standing in line. The simple solution is for me to donate to the food bank, and I sometimes do. But not enough to assuage my guilt over not doing more to help.

By all accounts things will get worse before they get better. I am going to make a bigger effort to do things that help with the basics, and that means donating food or money to the food bank, and also to things that provide coats or toys for kids. I still have a job and am able to pay my bills, and I think that obligates me to give something to those that don't and can't.

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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.