Over the winter, I saw a picture on a Facebook group which showed a dog in a kennel with the words underneath: Adopt a dog, even if it’s just for Christmas.

I was taken aback at first, it seemed to go against the principled phrase ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ that is well rehearsed. Upon further reading, I discovered that a local animal rescue centre had been severely flooded. Rain in the south of Spain is limited to two or three months a year, but when it does rain, it pours, and it floods.

These dogs were in such dire need of dry shelter that it led to the abandonment of the previously uttered mantra. Families who could not normalled accommodate pets, or those ‘testing the water’ so to speak, could benefit from a winter companion, a chance to see if having a dog is right for them. This in turn provided two potential outcomes: Either the dog was then fully adopted; or the dog was returned when the kennels were dry.

Normally, the latter outcome would be somewhat unfair, to give a dog a loving home only to have that gift snatched away again, but in this situation, it was preferable to drowning.

This train of thought highlighted to me the importance of pragmatism in everyday life, using the available resources and understanding to make the best decision, even if it means putting ideological values on hold. It’s easy to hold on to ideology when you don’t have to make important decisions such as these, but often the pragmatic approach helps more than the ideological one. ‘In a perfect world…’ is the start of a sentence that often discredits ideology, by following up with ‘…but this isn’t a perfect world’ after the point is made. True perhaps, however it is important not to abandon ideology altogether, rather just accept that temporary solutions do not always follow the ‘perfect’ method.

It was brave of this centre to make such a bold statement, and for that I applaud them. They also raised a good deal of money on their Crowdfunding page.


By Jambo Stewart