Spiritually Speaking

Question: We’ve lived in this neighborhood for 12 years. About a year and a half ago, an older couple adopted a large mixed-breed dog. The dog has been chained in the backyard regardless of weather ever since they got him. They did put out food and water but the dog is neglected otherwise. We were told the dog was adopted to keep burglars away. The dog does bark when someone approaches the house, which is not often.

Watching the dog shiver in the cold and be listless in the summer heat has been difficult so we called the local humane society, which came to check on the dog. They found it was covered in fleas, under weight and not in good health. The dog was taken away and now our neighbors won’t speak to us. We had mentioned to them several times that if the dog was a burden to them, we’d be glad to take him, but were turned down.

Were we wrong to call the humane society? ~Dog Lovers

Dear Dog Lovers,

You were not wrong to call the humane society. Neglecting a dog – or any animal – is unconscionable. I’m crying as I write this. These neighbors are not good people and don’t deserve your friendship. Don’t worry about them not talking to you. Be friendly when you see them but don’t engage. Bless the humane society for the work they do.

Carolyn Young, LCSW


Dear Dog Lovers,

Bless you! Of course you did the right thing! Before I continue, I should say that I am a dog owner and a dog lover. Right now I have two rescues and my wife and I may soon adopt another. But you did the right thing – and it was absolutely wonderful of you to offer to take the dog. It is understandable why people, especially older people, are fearful and want a dog for protection. But a dog needs love and care. Besides, if you spell the word “god” backwards, you get “dog!”

Seriously, there should be more people like you, willing to speak out against injustice and even cruelty. I am not saying your neighbors are cruel, but they seem to have regarded their living, breathing animal as an inanimate security device and a dog is so much more than that. In our nation’s battle against terrorism, we are told, “If you see something, say something.” You saw something and you said something in the name of the humane treatment of animals. Ya done good! And thank you!

The Rev. C. L. “Skip” Lindeman


Dear Dog Lovers,

It’s always sad to hear when someone is irresponsible when it comes to mistreating any living creature. Being humane is everyone’s responsibility regardless of the circumstances. Personally, I wouldn’t lose any sleep because you reported someone to the humane society for the pain and suffering they caused to “man’s best friend.” It certainly is an un-Godly act! You are to be commended for reporting it and I’m certain God will bless you for it. We must always pray for imprudent people; they need help!

Andy Gero


Question: After seven years of marriage and many medical tests indicating there is nothing to keep us from conceiving a much-wanted child, nothing has happened. I would like to begin the adoption process for an infant. My husband is adamantly against adoption. He wants his own biological child. He is 33 and I’m 30. I’m thinking time is marching on and it’s time to start a family. This has become an issue in our relationship.

Do you have any ideas about how we can go forward with this?

~ Yearning to be a Mom


Dear Yearning to be a Mom,

It’s no wonder you and your husband are disappointed that you haven’t been able to have children after seven years of marriage and trying to conceive. Most humans have a strong instinct to reproduce and religious and cultural influences create the expectation that happily married people will have children. It probably seems very unfair for you to not be able to fulfill your desires while there are so many unwanted children being born.

You don’t mention if you’ve tried fertility treatments to satisfy your husband’s wish for a biological child. That is a possibility although it’s expensive and may not be successful. Of course a biological child, naturally conceived or via in vitro fertilization, does not always satisfy parental expectations. There is no guarantee. Counseling from a family therapist could help both of you explore your motives more deeply for parenthood and see if there are other ways to satisfy them.

As you note, adoption is a logical option to consider. Perhaps your husband would be moved by learning about all the children available starting with LA County Dept. of Children and Family Services. Older children and sibling groups are more available than infants. You can share information with your husband from Population Connection, a non-profit organization that documents the negative effects of the current 8,000,000,000 humans on the Earth’s environment. We cause air and water pollution, extinction of other species and pandemics via zoonotic (animal-to-human) diseases. Climate change is already generating famine, permanent refugees, over-fishing, rain forest reduction and other habitat loss.

As usable land is lost to rising seas and increased desertification, border disputes and wars become more common and deadly. Even with many premature deaths from COVID and environmental disasters, the world’s human population continues to grow … as does the suffering of the less fortunate. You and your husband could help ease the burden of human overpopulation by raising children already here.

There is also the possibility of fostering children to fulfill the nurturing instinct. The LA County adoption fees are reduced for adoptions from foster care. You can also volunteer with youth groups, libraries or school organizations. Sports organizations, school orchestras and other club activities need adult volunteers. You can donate to school foundations or adopt-a-classroom and help with needed supplies.

I hope you are able to find a comforting solution regardless of which path you choose.

Sharon Weisman is a founding member of the CVCA. She can be reached at sharon@jetcafe.org.

Sharon Weisman


Dear Yearning to be a Mom,

Having your own biological child is a blessing and so is adoption. The challenge is for you and your hubby is to agree on a strategy. If your biological clock is running out there are many possibilities, as in vitro fertilization. I was married for five years before our daughter was born. Prior to that I’d experienced many miscarriages. I was almost certain that pregnancy was not going to happen. We both agreed that adoption was a possibility. At that time, I was a teacher and active in the community where we lived. My life was very busy and at times stressful. My husband suggested that stress was causing us not to conceive and asked me to step down from some of my local activities. That didn’t set with me well at all, as it seemed I was being blamed for not getting pregnant. I was not willing to leave the organizations that had become a part of my life.

Then we bought a house. It was almost as if “build the nest and they will come.” Two years later our daughter was born and three years later, our son.

The same thing happened to my best friend – she and her husband bought a home and their firstborn was on his way. This begs the question: Are you prepared, both financially and emotionally, to bring a child into your home? What does your nest look like?

Now I’m a minister and I believe in the power of prayer. Your message did not include a religious preference or none at all; however, my experience as a 30-year minister has proven that seemingly impossible circumstances are healed and changed by praying. My prayer for you and your husband is your desire is fulfilled to be parents.

Rev. Dr. Beverly G. Craig