In this post from yesterday, I asked the question in the headline regarding a woman who wondered whether it was ethical to dump her dog-walker because a friend claimed that she had posted insufficiently woke opinions on social media. I have a question to top that one now. On “Social Q’s,” the New York Times weekly advice column on manners and social interaction dilemmas that I seldom read any more because of columnist Phillip Gallane’s addiction to gratuitous partisan talking points, a question from “Anonymous” caused me to do a spit-take at breakfast. Here it is:
“A few days ago, while I was driving home — way below the speed limit! — the neighbors’ dog darted into the street. (It looked like he was chasing something.) I slammed on my brakes and felt a thud. I got out of the car and saw that I had hit the dog. He was dead. I carried him to my neighbors’ house, but no one was home. So, I left him on the doorstep. I was going to write a note, but I chickened out. Now, the neighbors have posted signs around the neighborhood asking if anyone knows what happened. I feel terrible! Is it too late to speak up?“
Left him on the doorstep??? That’s like leaving a horse head in someone’s bed! Would the hit-and-run driver do that with the neighbor’s child? You know, he just might.
The inquirer is a college student; when Gallanes introduced the question by saying it was from a “young reader,” I thought for a minute he was 8, and I would hope even 8-year-olds have better ethics alarms than this. How negligent must the family, teachers and culture be to produce a human being who thinks leaving a dead family dog on a doorstep is defensible conduct whether the dog’s owner posts signs or just suffers in silence?
Honestly, I don’t know why I bother. What am I doing with my life?