The antidote to the anxiety of full-time pet ownership

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In the new Miranda July film The Future, Sophie and Jason, a couple living a kind of modern Thoreauvian existence in LA — studio apartment, low effort jobs, lots of idle time for web surfing — decide to make a major life commitment: They’re going to adopt a cat.

The feline in question narrates part of the film. Paw-Paw has always lived outside, but dreams of the halcyon realm of an air conditioned apartment inhabited by humans who know how to pet. I believe that cats who live their whole lives outside tend to be feral; they view humans with a mix of fear and disgust. But then again, most cats also don’t talk. The whole film is rooted in fantasy,  so whatever. The vet says that Paw-Paw needs to stay at the shelter for a month while she nurses a wound on her paw.  The vet then says that she probably has another five good years in her.

This realization sends Sophie and Jason on a mission to carpediem the hell out of the next 30 days. This is their last chance to embrace the joy of irresponsible living.  From now on, one of them will have to be home. Always.  “And in five years,” says Sophie. “We’ll be forty.”

This seems to me to be a pretty bleak idea of pet ownership. Having a pet is certainly a responsibility, but it doesn’t mean that the rest of life needs to be put on hold. It just means that you need to find a great pet sitter (ahem!), find a reputable boarding facility, and do the basic training to insure that everyone you know wants to help out if you need a hand with your charming cat/dog/bird/ferret whatever.

But it’s still a major commitment. Occasionally, there are other situations that allow for dog ownership in a kind of Hamptons summer share kind of arrangement. Here’s one such situation available right now: Unleash Brooklyn and the Dog Habitat Rescue shelter in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, are currently helping to find some temporary residences for Honey, a young rescued brindle pitbull.

Her owner, Eduardo,  took her out of Williamsburg’s BARC shelter last year after calculating that he wasn’t going to be called to serve. A few months later, he was told he was going to Afghanistan. He will be back in seven months and is looking either for one foster home that she can stay in through then, or for a group of a few people who can alternate taking her in for ten days at a time. Caregivers will receive a stipend and will have access to doggie daycare at Unleash Brooklyn.

Otherwise said, this is an opportunity to enjoy the love of a dog without the responsibility of a lifetime of care. And you get paid. And you get to say that you’re helping out a serviceman. If you’re interested, email Jay at Dog Habitat Rescue with a brief description of your living situation and your availability.


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