Some pictures may be worth a thousand words, but there are scores of words in just the right combination that can leave one speechless.
Consider this online post on our neighborhood bulletin board (altered slightly to avoid a lawsuit):
Jeter is a smart, loving, kid-friendly, dog-friendly five-year-old [insert name of designer breed here]. He rarely barks, loves to be brushed and does not shed. He is house-trained, obeys commands and is a very good dog. I adopted him without my husband’s permission. He is not fixed. Perfect to mate him or not. We live on a steep hill and rocks roll down into our yard. Best for us to find him a new home.
The above message received a torrent of replies, the kindest of which suggested having Jeter “fixed” before adopting him out. My fantasy reply alludes to an act of impaling on (insert object here).
Take a moment and see how many things you can find wrong with or alarming in this “ad.” I know you’re just dying to pipe in and I envision your hand waving wildly like that know-it-all nerd from way back in your fifth grade class. But, first, let me have a crack at matching your keen insights:
We live on a steep hill and rocks roll down into our yard. How was this geologic hazard not considered before she decided to adopt? Or move there in the first place?
I adopted him without my husband’s permission. Pet adoption must always be a family decision and never an act of impulse (as it apparently was here). A perfect illustration of the phrase: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
[Inset name of designer breed here]. If you thought that only black dogs, pit bulls and elder canines are cast-off dogs, think again. Even our genetically-engineered hypoallergenic pals may be given the boot.
He is not fixed. Perfect to mate him or not. Widening the pool to include backyard breeders? Spaying and neutering keeps pets out of shelters, calms their nerves, lengthens their lives and makes them overall better roommates than many humans.
Best for us to find him a new home. Read: I made a bad decision that’s proved terribly inconvenient for me. Despite her gushing over Jeter’s good qualities, this person clearly does not consider Jeter as part of her family.
Should we give this person a break? After all, she didn’t abandon Jeter on a country road or dump him at a high-kill shelter. She is at least trying to find him another home.
The most she could have done is resist the temptation to make an irresponsible decision which may have deprived Jeter of his best chance at being adopted into a forever home; a colossal pet adoption faux pas that - if she has any conscience - may gnaw at her forever.