CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: A Companion: Canine or Human?



By W.T. Wimpy Hiroto

In our constant search for an idyllic existence, it is ap­parent circumstances are the overriding influence, no matter belief, effort, resilience. I mean, hey, didn’t I tell anyone who would listen that the Oregon Ducks would whomp the Trojans last Saturday?

It’s very simple. If you take emo­tion and fervor out of an equation, be it a football game or life style determination, a cool head becomes priority number one. Then you pro­ceed to make a logical decision based on factors you are familiar with, in control of, sans hysteria.

So what the hey am I talking about? Two very disparate recent occurrences. Allow me to explain.

First off, despite being dyed in cardinal and gold and not having wagered on a football game in years, CR2S made substantial *bets against USC: on the money line as well as point spread. A modern-day Benedict Arnold? I don’t think so. More like an updated [male]Tokyo Rose who warned the troops of heartbreak and an impending Dear John letter. (*In all my years as an inveterate gambler, I was never so certain of an outcome. It was one of those perfect storm situations gam­blers dream about. Now that CR2S has achieved the ultimate success, I hereby declare retirement from any further serious wagering.)

The second “happening” was an admonition by someone I consider a valued counselor on all subjects; a piece of advice meant to help straighten out a friend in need of guidance:

“Either get a dog or a girl friend!” was the commandment.

Now, think about that precept for a moment. Who should feel hurt the most? Canine or female? Either? None? No offense taken. The no frills advice was a direct response to an ongoing CR2S complaint of be­ing somewhat bored with nothing of meaning on the near horizon.

Dog or friend.

There was nothing said about reading a book, taking a cruise or getting soused. Bowwow or wow beau. Either and or.

Since the suggestion I’ve been giving it deep and considerate thought, weighing the plusses and minuses like a Bernie Madoff ac­countant. But obviously without worrying about any consequences, penal or otherwise.

My first thought is remembering Woody, the last of the Hiroto ca­nines. He had to be put down because of a brain tumor. His photo is in front of me every day I sit at the dinner table. How do you define unforget­table? Tears well just at the thought of him, even these many years later.

I could give his replacement a whole suite of rooms to romp and play, tear up; a backyard to do like­wise or gallop to his heart’s desire. To be brutally honest I hesitate to make the decision because of the certainty that I would eventually leave him/her; another Woody moment but in reverse. Anticipating such sadness doesn’t seem fair or worthwhile. So I continue to agonize.

Now to consider the second pro­posal: A female companion of the human species.

It has been so long there is reason to pause and reflect. Although taking on the belated title of widower only three years ago, factoring in more than 14 years as an Alzheimer’s caregiver gives a more vivid picture of a companionless existence. Not a complaint. Merely an explanation of a lonely state of affairs.

Never to be mistaken as a bon vivant or raconteur (Okay, maybe minor league variety or a wannabe), I’m left wondering where and how one goes about finding female com­panionship? A singles group? A widow/widower clique? Cosco? I’m not trying to be cute, really. It’s just that you don’t declare yourself in the market and start comparing and pric­ing, like a Camry vs Lexis or Julia Childs vs Julia Roberts.

In all candor and transparency, at this point in time, it would appear a female dog holds a slight edge over a gendered companion. But unlike a football game sure thing, there are obvious differences.

I have full and total control over the selection of a house pet. The same can’t be said of a human being. Rejection is impossible in the first case; a possibility in the second. The comparisons and differences are endless.

Like a mental tsunami, I feel an unwanted headache oncoming. So let’s table the agenda item for the nonce. I mean, shoot, it’s not like the world will come to an end if one or the other route is not taken immedi­ately, right?


W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not nec­essarily those of The Rafu Shimpo


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