I was out shopping recently and spotted a woman with five dogs in a stroller. The shopping center is in an upscale neighborhood and I thought this was a classic example of someone spending money on something ridiculous for their pets.
It was a little mean-spirited of me, but I asked her if I could take a picture. I intended to send it to a friend with some mocking comment about people with more money than sense.
She was happy to let me take a picture, and then she started telling me about these dogs.
One had been found abandoned in a rental unit after the owner moved out.
One had been in a shelter for over two years and had been deemed unadoptable.
Each of them had a terrible story of abuse or neglect. They had all been antisocial and unadoptable. This woman, it turns out, works at the animal shelter and adopted them herself. She brought them into her home and loved them. They responded to that love and became gentle and formed bonds with each other.
I was so wrong to judge her motivation for having all these dogs in a stroller. I wish now that I'd taken a picture of her. What a lovely person, who does something very few people can do. I wish her and her dogs the best, and I have definitely learned a lesson here.