How to get a dog:
I hope you get the little guy. You can do it without saying, “You’re horrible people and your dog is suffering.” Just say, “I have become so attached to Chester that I wanted to see if I could adopt him or purchase him. He and I have really bonded, and I’d love to be able to be with him full-time.” Let’s hope they’ve long wished they could dump the dog and you have turned into the proverbial “home in the country” for an unwanted pet.
How to get a cat:
Take Carmel! I think it’s setting a worse example for your daughters to say you could have done something to save an animal’s life, but you didn’t. Your neighbor is out of compliance with the law. She is mentally ill and is endangering every animal in her home. Depending on how old your girls are you can explain in an age-appropriate way the difference between stealing and rescuing this animal who shouldn’t be with your neighbor in the first place. And you’re right, the hoarder will never notice Carmel is gone.
That’s got to have infuriated at least a third of you, and I want to see you marshal forth your fanciest arguments. You are not allowed to complain about any of the other letters, Dear Prudence’s attitude towards your pet issues, or the additional complication of hoarding in the second letter. That’s not fair, but then this isn’t your website.
Now fight for my amusement. [Belligerently, while stumbling into you and spilling a bit of beer on your coat without apologizing] Come on, this is the internet, you’ve got opinions about animals. Don’t be stuck up.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.