Dogs Trump All

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I turn on my computer, pretending to read the New York Times. My husband Andy sits in his favorite chair reading the print copy. Little does he know as I nod my head to his rants about the country's latest political disasters that I'm actually staring at puppies.

We lost our beloved Golden Retriever three months ago. She was near 11 and dying from lymphoma. The treatment would have made her suffer more and would have added only a few months to her life, if that. At her age we were not going to put her through that. So, we made that horrible decision we pet owners are forced to make from time to time. We had her put to sleep. My husband cuddled her while I wailed in the waiting room. I have been with all my pets when they died but this one was my heart dog. I couldn't bear it.

We've been grieving for weeks, convinced we'll never get over it. We go to parks for dog fixes. The house is too quiet, the sofa too cold, the bed too roomy, the hall too empty, the carpet too clean. I can get in the car without sitting on a ball. All wrong.

This isn't a good time for us to get another dog, Andy says. We are still grieving. We have serious things to deal with - medical issues, financial decisions, possible travel. We should put it off awhile he says. I know he's right.

Reason vs instinct. I try to balance those opposing forces in my brain all the time and it usually works pretty well. But this time, as I steal another peek at a floppy-eared mutt, my reasoning goes packing. I know I shouldn't be tempting myself, but what can I do? Devour the paper's numerous scandals? My heart sinks.


Andy gets up from his chair and I click off the SPCA web site, but page after page of wiggly critters hide underneath. Andy walks by and I feel sneaky, like I've been looking at porn. Puppy porn.

"That Trump," Andy says.

Yep, I say. "That Trump."

With a Perspective, I'm Carol Arnold.

Carol Arnold is a retired environmental planner. She lives in San Francisco.