Last Saturday, my friend, Jay, and I attended the 21st Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. Although we are both dog lovers, we didn’t enjoy this event equally. In fact, Jay had to leave the parade in order to get peace of mind. Meanwhile, I couldn’t get enough of these four-legged, lovable, hugable creatures. Let’s backtrack a little bit…
As we were entering Tompkins Square Park, we noticed as loooong line on the outskirts of the park. At first, we thought it might be the line to purchase tickets to enter the dog run where the dogs would be parading. As we kept walking, we realized these people were not just hippies or backpackers dressed in torn up clothing. Nope. But couldn’t they be artists? MMmmm….wrong again! They were homeless, in fact, homeless or very poor people waiting in line for food. The food, it turned out, was not much of a meal at all. Out of an old paper bag emerged a burger. A single, tiny serving for any adult. The burgers looked like the small version of a McDonald’s kid’s burger. It was accompanied by a Hi-C juice box. That’s it! This long line, full of senior citizens, handicap people and a few children, were just waiting around for a bit of food.
That view didn’t sit so well with Jay. For me, however, this was a sign of human compassion. The people handing out the food looked just like the individuals that were waiting in line for a serving. “Wow!” I thought, “What an amazing act of kindness.” Of course, I was also a bit sad -sad that these people had to even wait in line. But that sadness disappeared in a matter of seconds with the first sign of canines just a few feet inside the park. All I could think of was: Puppies! Cute, Adorable, Dressed UP PUPPIES!! Maybe they weren’t all puppies, but even the big ones had the look of any puppy as they, almost shamefully, walked around in their silly suits. Here are some of my favorites:
Later on, Jay and I had a long chat. He just couldn’t stand the juxtaposition. I must add, Jay comes from a country were poverty is much more rampant than here in the States. Jay couldn’t stand the idea that resources were being alloted to dress up and care for these dogs. He found it indignant and outright immoral. Wow! Really? Immoral? He had to leave the affair just to run away from that feeling of guilt -guilt that he belong to the human race. Guilt that the human race would care for another species more than it’s very own.
What do you think? Was Jay overreacting?