Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Unconditional love and slobber

I had a very unusual conversation this afternoon at the shop. I've known this woman for many years - she was a customer in the bookshop long before we started the dog boutique in the bookstore. "Jan" has also been an active member of our book group for years. Today she came in to pick up the book for the next group meeting (in the interest of full disclosure, it's The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama).

I was filling some packets with treats - a perfect mindless task for carrying on a conversation, so we were just standing there, talking. "Jan" is actively retired - she's one of those people who's so busy it's hard to remember how work once fit into the schedule. But she's also been troubled. It occurred to me while we were talking that "Jan" has never, in her entire life, known unconditional love from anyone.

So, not being shy, I speak up and tell her that I think it's about time that she discovered that feeling. She might enjoy having a dog - "the only love money can buy." And she tells me that she really feels nothing for dogs. She likes every cat she's ever met, she's polite to dogs, but just can't relate to them at all. And I agree, feeling as she does, dog ownership probably isn't a good idea.

But since she left, I'm wondering if her life experience has left her so damaged that she's incapable of handling unconditional love. And slobber. She expressed a definite aversion to slobber.

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