The toils of love

As I stood before a long row of lined cages peering into about a dozen soul-capturing eyes, I suddenly realized few things could tempt such impulsive decision-making as a kitten or a puppy.

The SPCA’s main priorities are animal care and helping prospective owners find the right pet, for both’s sake.

As the manager of the shelter, Lisa Teller (my boss) explained the process of adoption, it became clear what was a primary concern.



After working closely with their staff one afternoon I would have to say a chief responsibility of the SPCA is helping people make happy decisions. I say “happy decision” because it’s their job to make sure that when an animal is adopted it’s a permanent and well-informed decision, which means one important thing really– keeping both the animal and owner happy in the long run.

Sounds easy enough, but how quickly most people surrender their sensibilities when confronted with cuddly fur, warm eyes and a playful disposition.

I discovered that impulsively selecting a pet is sort of like meeting the woman (or man) of your dreams, falling in love one minute and getting married the next. Although it usually seems like a good idea at the time, most of us are optimistically cursed with blind foresight.

The SPCA then steps in and says, “I have no doubt that you absolutely love the two German Shepherds and six kittens you just signed up to adopt Mr. Murphy, but just as a standard precaution maybe we should review a little background information. So according to the adoption form you just filled out, you live with your parents, you’re allergic to pet hair, apparently you’re moving to Colorado next month and you’ve never owned a pet before – except for a gold fish, that you won at the fair, when you were eleven, and it only survived for six days.”


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