June 13, 2010 12:40:00 AM
They say you can''t buy love. For the most part, that is true. There are many examples of love that is "purchased." I''m not talking about the "oldest profession." I''m thinking more of people (both genders) who marry for, or because of, money.
No matter if the buyer is a dirty old man or "cougar," a trophy spouse can easily be found. However, the price is dear -- on both sides. The consumer pays enormously for their arm candy, often learning that beauty really can be only "skin deep." Those who marry for money surely earn every cent. Baubles, no matter if they are engraved with the name "Harry Winston" or "Tiffany," can turn heavy and dull.
Sometimes wealth does not last. Businesses fail, trust funds dry up, stocks crash. Then what? Hope everyone is happy with that pre-nup.
There is, however, a place where a very small amount of money can buy a mountain of love. That is the Columbus-Lowndes County Humane Society.
My kind-hearted friend, Melody Vydas, sent me photos of 10 "guests of the shelter." These were all smallish dogs, with sad eyes and expectant expressions. Most were smiling, tongue hanging to one side. Their soft fur was clean and neatly brushed.
My heart weakened when I saw Desiree, a lady schnauzer, looking a bit frightened of the camera. I''ll bet she would make a great lap dog. Maybe it was her fragility, or maybe her French name; no matter, I fell in love.
Lucy was another beauty with a thick chocolate-colored coat and perky ears. She was described as a "Boykin" terrier, a breed I have never heard of. Just consider her a "designer original."
The pictures were of boys and girls, in colors of black and brown, cream and tan. Mek-Mek wore a foxy red coat punctuated with a bit of white at her throat. Of course, I''m not suggesting that you choose a pet to match your decor ... but, you probably could.
Summer is an excellent time to adopt. With many family members spending more time at home, they would have some quality time to adjust.
My three children are all former shelter residents. They are loving and faithful and highly intelligent. (Do not ever believe that animals cannot think. This is a falsehood fabricated by unthinking humans.)
They are funny and fun and often, I believe, keep me sane. My four-legged progeny were the reason Chris and I ended up in Columbus. I am sure my psyche would have shattered into a million pieces without paws and purrs to ground me.
The dogs and cats at the shelter may have a dubious lineage (don''t we all, in some manner?). But, they are pure-bred angels sent to comfort us.
In a way this love is priceless, and free. You will be asked to pay a small fee for shots and that all-important spaying and neutering.
So, for those of you who have looked for love "in all the wrong places," like Internet dating or the club scene, do consider another approach to finding Mr. or Miss Right. Remember that love sometimes comes in very small packages and wags its tale. These "lovers" are always glad to see you and don''t mind if you are grouchy after a stressful day. They certainly have no interest in your net worth. You can''t beat that at any price!
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina. E-mail reaches her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.
4. A Stone's Throw: Beware COLUMNS