Bad decisions are certainly a scourge — up there with bad luck as a factor blamed for debt, loveless marriages, general misery and poor health. There’s hope, though. We might find a key to better decisions, and a happier life, in the echoing halls of an animal shelter.

The best decision I’ve made in recent years was impulsive, borderline mindless. I drove to my local animal shelter and returned with an oversized senior cat named Pooh Bear. He’d seemed a bit depressed in the shelter, but I was convinced for no rational reason that he was wonderful. Years later, I can attest that he is in fact wonderful.

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