Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Have You Ever Owned A Dog?

There couldn’t have been a more straightforward question, particularly coming from the adoption desk at the Northeast Animal Shelter while you’re adopting a dog. As I was uttering my response, I knew I had misplaced my modifier, and the woman at the desk, Marianne, wasn’t going to understand. I tried to take them back, but the words had already spilled from my mouth.

Standing next to me, my sister Jeanne heard the words as they were floating through the air, and tried to grab them and give them back to me. No such luck.

Marianne heard my answer, and replied with the only reasonable response.
Tom with Maxwell, about 1989

Marianne: Have you ever owned a dog?
Me: My husband had a dog, but he died.
Marianne: Your husband or the dog?

Jeanne and I looked at each other, then looked at ashen-faced Marianne who realized what she had just asked, and all three of us laughed at the absurdity of the exchange. Then I told Marianne about my animal loving husband, Tom, feeling pretty assured we'd take our dog home after that.

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