We had a succession of dogs and plenty of blackberries when I was growing up in the late 1950s through the mid-1970s in rural Clatsop County. Most of our dogs wandered off. One was hit and killed by a logging truck. They all got plenty of exercise without us sending them to a play group, so their social skills were rough, and their lives weren't exactly sheltered. (Come to think of it, this description also fits the boys of that time and place, one of whom hanged himself, and two of whom were soon sent to Maclaren's School for Boys. But most of the rest of us took care of ourselves pretty well.)
As for the blackberries, some of my earliest memories are of spending hours at our extensive blackberry bushes, filling silver buckets and my belly with the dark fruits. You could sell the berries to a buyer at Miles Crossing for what even then seemed like a small amount of money for all the work it took. Now, unless I find a neglected bush, I pay what probably amounts to a dime a berry at our hip little local grocery story.
Outside New Seasons Grocers, homeless men sell newspapers for $1.00 each, the price of about 10 frozen blackberries, or the equivalent of about 10 minutes of Harley's play time at his doggy day care.
When I ponder these incongruities, I think there is a very good chance I'll be spending eternity in hell. And I wonder what the grandmother I never met, who left school in 4th grade and died young, in the 1920s, would make of this life.