Before pet-loving pals condemn me to doo-doo, I affirm deep respect for animal lovers. They invest enormous amounts of time, money and love. Some even leave huge fortunes to pets. That, however, doesn’t stagger me like one friend’s sharing hot fudge sundaes with her German shepherd.
I’d share with my husband on his birthday. But with a dog?
God in His wisdom created both plants and animals. He wanted animals aboard the Ark, though it was raining cats and dogs.
Why didn’t Noah suggest inviting hydrangeas, callas and evergreens instead of badgers, snakes and elephants? Plants would have required weekly feedings. The family wouldn’t have shoveled nearly as many, um, by-products.
But the Lord knew animal lovers would languish without furry friends.
He also counted on plants to take care of themselves — a big reason I am a plant person.
I’ve never had to paper-train a plant. They do not nudge me at 5 a.m. to go out. My philodendrons never bring me a leash, begging me to leave the sofa. They don’t bark or jump on guests. Plants do not lick. I haven’t lost a single pair of new shoes to a plant’s fangs. I never scour the neighborhood, yelling for plants that have wandered off.
Plants never eye me with the “Is that you, peasant?” stare favored by felines.
They don’t rear or kick me in the head. Lord knows, I can’t afford to lose what brains I have.
Plants even diminish carbon dioxide and add oxygen to the air. Animals: the reverse.
Obviously, plants aren’t perfect. They shed, but I don’t find a thousand leaves stuck to my black pants. While plants don’t bite, some boast nasty thorns. My grandchildren showed an inordinate desire to teethe on poisonous ones.
Plants also can be fussy as your Aunt Prilla Lou. They readily lay on wilt-guilt when subjected to less-than-perfect conditions.
I confess I am a serial herb murderer. I’ve taught the only trick plants can learn — “play dead” — to basil, oregano and cilantro with far too much success.
That’s the biggest reason I am a plant rather than animal person. I grieve the herbs I kill, poinsettias that shrivel, the cyclamen I neglected to repot. However, I’ve rarely shed tears for them. I never conduct plant funerals, as I did for our children’s hamsters, so numerous the neighbors suspected I was running a cult.
Hats off to you folks who not only risk tears, but share hot fudge sundaes with your animal buds.
Still, unless my asparagus fern makes a direct request for a taste, I’ll eat my sundaes by myself.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you an animal or plant person?