I have been wrestling with the idea of getting a dog or a cat ever since our old Bichon died. It’s a big commitment to be sure, and I’ll admit I’m hesitant because there’s a part of me that’s become downright possessive and protective about my time, my freedom AND my new floors..😉
This on again, off again, passive search for a furry companion includes logging onto ‘Pet Finder’ every so often to see if there’s a pooch or a kitty who’s clearly “calling my name.” I haven’t found one yet, but cannot help being drawn to these animals and their stories.
Pet Finder does a great job describing animals’ predilections, predispositions and personalities. A brutally clear portrait is painted and where possible, histories are transparently shared. This organization isn’t just about placing pets, they want the match-ups to be longterm, mutually beneficial and successful…. i.e. – no sugarcoating, no surprises.
I couldn’t help but compare Pet Finder to the dating site my daughter was recently using; Match.com. While the service for placing dogs puts value on being honest, the same can’t be said about the service for “placing” humans. Forget the bogus, inflated bios, you’re lucky if the photos even remotely resemble the folks searching for “authentic love.”
And heaven forbid you put anything in your profile that even hints of a less than perfect past or present day life…
When it comes to people, we simply aren’t touched by the hardships others have overcome in the same way we are when it’s an animal. In the dating world there’s a whole different “guide book” being used. Call it evolutionary prejudice, but we don’t want our mate to have, or to have had, any major issues. Bad prior relationships? Recently lost 100 pounds? Had to go back and live with mom and dad after a job loss? Yeah.. no thanks- pass…swipe…delete. Whereas we are drawn in by an animal’s less than perfect history, we are often repelled or frightened by a human’s.
Of course I know there are differences between animals and humans..the biggest one being the baggage so many of us insist on carrying through life. By contrast, most animals move beyond pain and suffering with remarkable resolve. A lot of love, newfound trust, a healthy environment, some habit breaking and most of these sweet souls are ready to slam the door on their old lives forever and move on to the new.
In that respect, we could learn a lot from our four legged friends about what a fresh start actually requires.
But I also wish we lived in a world where grace and patience and understanding were extended as freely to humans as they are to animals . Just think about what a relief it would be not to have to pretend to be so perfect, especially for those looking for love..
..and in the final analysis, isn’t that what we are all looking for?