The slow climb back home

April 26, 2007

It’s happening – the fridge slowly refilling with condiments, the milk crates giving way to shelves found tucked at the back of used furniture stores, the creaks of doors and windows becoming familiar background noise. How I can find my way to the bathroom in the dark. Settling in. The appliance count is up to four now with a washer and dryer. Give me a stud-finder so I can hang my favourite antique mirror and I’m set. That’s not entirely true, I still haven’t found a paper towel holder. Or a dog. The hunt continues – I’ve made a few depressing trips out to the SPCA; dogs endlessly rising to the promise that each person who walks in will be theirs. Hopeful eyes, wagging bums. I cry each time I leave, and not just because I haven’t found the one for me but because I can’t be the one for all of them. Like everyone else, I often imagine what I would do if I won the lottery; I always imagine a sum of at least ten million so that at least one million can go to the SPCA in every city I’ve lived. When my uncle died a few years ago his will asked that donations be made in his name to the local shelter – their house was always full of foster pets, of strays. They never turned an animal away, and eventually moved somewhere large enough to accommodate their menagerie. I found the best friend of my life thus far at a shelter before and am committed to adopting again, but it’s a heartbreaking search. It will be worth it in the end (sharing your life with an animal always is) but each time I go I have to restrain myself from lashing out at strangers on my way home – I find it hard to stomach that I move amongst people, nameless faceless people, that would do something as cruel as chain a dog’s face to an exhaust pipe while the car is running just so they no longer have to take care of it. I can save one right now, and one day a tenure-financed tract of land and I will save more.

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