Especially when it comes to pets, with incredible accuracy and only slight exaggeration, Portlandia has captured the essence of my part of Oregon. I’ve included a link to a short clip that illustrates this point. People in the Portland area love our dogs!
Since I started the GSD 90X Challenge* I’ve started noticing dogs everywhere I go. I see people walking their dogs, dogs in cars and a lot of dogs sitting at the feet of people on the side of the road. At intersections around Oregon, individuals hold signs with messages like “Hungry-Anything Helps” and drivers may give them money. I’ve read articles that panhandling with pets is especially lucrative but I didn’t realize how my heartstrings would be pulled until a dog came to live with me.
My mother is incredibly generous. She donates time and money to organizations to support those in need. For instance, she’s made more than 10,000 sustainable hygiene kits for women who can’t afford the luxury of products like Stayfree Maxi Pads. She maximizes every bit of the time and money she donates to Days for Girls and can tell you how her contributions are used. Though she is very generous, she doesn’t give money away without knowing it will be used well.
Once, as other drivers slowed to hand cash to a man on the corner with a sign, her eyes were drawn to the dog curled up at the man’s feet. Instead of giving money, she went to the store and got that dog and his man some food. My mom lives east of the Cascade range so it’s important here that I point out that when it comes to gun control, music genres, national news preference and politics, many people in the rest of the state hold very different opinions than the proudly weird Portlanders portrayed in Portlandia. When it comes to pets however, Oregonians are united in their love for dogs. By the time my mom returned to the area with a bag dog and human food, the man was gone. She noticed the dog sitting outside the liquor store (hard alcohol is sold only in liquor stores in Oregon). I don’t remember if she ended up getting the food to the dog or not but now, every time I see a dog and a sign I remember that story.
During the GSD 90X Challenge, I’ve come to think about dogs in new ways. The cost of especially energetic dogs includes damage to furniture, flooring, fences and landscaping. Other costs include medication, food and vacuum cleaner repair due to overuse with all that hair. Benefits, on the other hand, include an encouraging exercise partner, no need for a gym membership and a bigger heart as you notice the needs of those around you. There is a lot of love in our world thanks to dogs!
**GSD 90X Challenge is German Shepherd Dog 90X (the x should be up a little like an exponent because every thing with GSD can seem exponentially harder). A family I love needed me to foster their dog for 90 days while they find a home that allows dogs (including German Shepherds) before school starts. One side effect having Bailey has been more movement, less time to eat, and more mindfulness.