It’s a Doggy-Dog world. (No dog-eat-dog, for me…)

I look at Craigslist for a bargain. When I finally find one, it will more than likely be something that I have absolutely no use for. Something like a slightly used Xylophone, bargain-priced and in pristine condition, or vegetable canning supplies – cheap.

It’s nothing short of amazing, the sorts of things that people offer up for sale. Someone has, for months, listed a little wooden business card holder. Under ten bucks, and maybe it is the Cadillac of business card holders – they have an up-close photograph of it, and it seems to be a really nice business card holder – but folks just aren’t biting. It must be to the point that the owner wakes up on Monday morning, yawning broadly, then realizing it is time to scurry over to the computer and re-up the listing.

“Come down a little on the price?” they might wonder. “Nah. Hold out for top dollar! It’s the Cadillac of business card holders, for Pete’s sake!”

But this afternoon (after I had completed my shop chores) I was astonished at a listing under the barter category, where the owner might – instead of asking for a cash payment – might strike a bargain to swap their unwanted item for your unwanted item.

That way, after a few days, you have a brand-new (to you, anyway) unwanted item. Something to take up that cherished spot in the garage or spare bedroom closet. Something your children will desperately hope you will get rid of before that final estate sale in the sky.

Complete with a photograph, the listing is for a two-year old male German shepherd dog.

How do you come to the place that you are willing to barter away your dog? And what will tempt you enough to strike a bargain? Trading for a slightly used cat is out of the question, no doubt.

Admittedly, I am not a dog person (nor a cat person, fish person, gerbil person, lion person, or sea monkey person!), but I am finding myself thinking compassionately about the young dog (although – in dog years – the age of two might represent an octogenarian). It was my understanding that – in the dog world – a pet is taken in and becomes a member of the family, and is the sort of rare family member that doesn’t require elaborate holiday gifts or shopping trips to the mall.

I’m looking at the doggy-picture that accompanies the Craigslist ad, and I’m thinking that the pup is either terribly naïve and having no clue that a brand-new family is in the works, or that sad-eyed look is purposely intended to discourage prospective phone calls.

Doggie, thinking while the picture is being taken: Please don’t call. Please, Please, Please, Please….PLEASE. (Then, doggie-thoughts “Sad eye look, with the sad German shepherd eyebrows look, and pose!”)

Owner, with camera: Okay Fido! Smile for the camera!

Doggie, eyes even sadder: But I don’t WANT a new family! I promise to quit the late night backyard barking! I’ll quit ignoring the discount kibble!

Honestly.

I wonder about the whole psychological impact of being UnFriended in real life, and sent away with strangers. How does one explain adoption or foster care to a two-year-old. German shepherd, no less.

And – because I just don’t know how these things work, there’s this question: Does the new family acquire naming rights, where the doggy has to learn to answer to a new name from the new family members? What if the dog’s current name is something completely out-of-left-field, like the same as the aunt who’s in prison? (It’s name isn’t mentioned in the ad.)

In my mind, I’m petting the pup, reassuringly – if a little hesitatingly.

Like I said, I’m not a dog person.