I have a lot of animal friends. Dogs and cats in our neighborhood. I often know the animals' names when I forget the owners' names. I talk to my animal friends through the fence. I snap pictures of them if I have my camera. If a dog is loose I usually know who it belongs to and whether I can catch it without being bitten.
But neighbor pets are not my responsibility and while I certainly don't want to be accountable for them sometimes I question the pet owner's wisdom. I don't know how many times I've learned that one of my animal "friends" has passed on or is being a nuisance because of a small (or large) mistake in the owner's judgement.
... the dog that I brought back to the owner because it had escaped, only to be told they were letting it run free in the evenings... a week later it was hit by a car.
... the cat that has not been spayed and now has kittens...
And today I learned that the Japanese sweet shop's cat (where I stand on crosswalk duty) had been hit by a car too. It was a sweet cat that used to sit by the window on the sweet shop counter. But it wanted out and the owners decided to let it run free... and that was that.
I have enough animals to worry about without concerning myself with the neighborhood pets. Still it hurts to know another friend is gone.
Not a great picture of me but here I am surrounded by my some of my "friends" (three of them!) with coffee in hand before the day begins.