In Empty Spaces

I’m not sure who I am right now, whether words will return to me, whether I’ll find the desire to speak. So I dig down to what I’ve known before, the capturing, the offering of service, the one foot in front of the other.

This takes me to the dogs, the ones abandoned and homeless, the ones with large eyes of hope. I see myself in those eyes. I relate to the feelings of lost.

Or I project. Whatever it is doesn’t matter. I show up.

I take their photos trying to make them look as desirable as possible, to capture their essence in a tiny frame. I think of online dating and see the overlap from dog needing a home to person needing love. Neither wants to look desperate. Neither wants to seem needy. Both want to appear as an offering.

The dogs quickly grow tired of my prodding to look this way, to move left, to move right, to respond, to bend their faces into a smile. They realize I am not there to take them home. Their attention drifts off, their disinterest unmistakable.

I process and edit the photos, send them off, and eagerly await their posting online. My imagination decides a simple, happy photo will earn these dogs a home. Of course I know better. Of course I know how complicated it is.

Like online dating. Appearance counts for a moment, but then the other conditions fall into play. Size. Temperament. Style. Behavior. Plays well with others.

I have more in common with these dogs than I care to admit. I, too, feign initial enthusiasm only to quickly let my attention drift. I, too, give up hope when the wrong words are directed my way. I, too, wonder when I will find home.

For the dogs, I maintain hope.

For myself, I put one foot in front of the other. I wait to see if words will return to remind me why I’m here. I prod myself forward and think about home.

to find a pet, visit
petfinder.com. these dogs currently reside with Bill Foundation.

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