Last week, I had a nothing-special appointment with a cardiologist. His office was one of many in a honey-combed floor of offices in a staid stone building. The waiting area was painted in a stolid tan with a number of sometimes-interesting oil-paintings on the wall. The year-old magazines were on various coffee tables. All in all it had the usual mausoleum-esque seriousness that most doctor's offices seem determined to impart. There was no likelihood that anyone would tell a good joke and any farts would be muzzled by tight cheeks.
After the doctor had caught up with my current status and seemed roughly satisfied, I suggested to him that it might be nice if he added a dog or two to the waiting area. Dog or cat ... something human and tactile and unblinkingly affectionate. He gave the knee-jerk responses why it wasn't a good idea -- allergies, fear of animals, etc. -- while I plumped for the positive side of the coin. It was clear the idea was going no where.
Today, I had an appointment with a dermatologist and lo-and-behold, there were two sheep-dog-sized dogs lying about obediently. The dogs belonged to the doctor. They were not obtrusive, but they really made me feel good ... there was something reassuringly human and alive about them.
A small concatenation.