“And don’t say unconditional love,” Matthew says when he asks why I think he should get a dog.  Well, I wasn’t going to say that because I hadn’t thought of it but what a good reason. I was teasing, of course.  We both know that Matthew is never going to get a dog.  He’s not a dog person, not a pet person at all. Nor am I though I like dogs well enough, except for yappers and snarlers and the ones that can knock you over when they pirouette.  And, I’m a gardener.  In other cities gardeners and dogs perhaps are more compatible.  It’s only Wednesday and twice this week I’ve had a sole-full encounter with dogdoo.  On Monday I had a little talk with the tenant who lives in the downstairs apartment on Divisadero while his large dog barked at me.  I mentioned the word respect, and asked the question (pathetic, I know) why some dog owners consider a garden a dog toilet.  Ned is the young man’s name, and he said that there are times when he gets called in at 4 A.M. to his job as a medical technician and there’s no way he can walk his dog.  I could have pointed out in Sherlockian mode that the deposits indicate a frequency and a span of time unaccounted for by 4 A.M. emergencies.  I could also have asked, why do you have a dog if you can’t take care of it?

I knew the answer.  Unconditional love.



  1. I’m with you on the dog thing. Or was, until I read Adam Gopnik’s piece in last week’s New Yorker. A gem that might make me get a dog. Some day. When I want unconditional love. And another responsibility.

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