We All Go Through It

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“So where’s the other one?” asked the guy with the twinkly eyes and the sheepdog, looking at my dog Kenya.

“I had to put her down on Wednesday,” I replied, welling up all over again.

“It’s all right,” he said, “we all go through it.”

I struggled to put it into words. “It was such a tactile thing,” I finally said. “I carried her for the last few months.”

He looked down at his sheepdog, then looked up at me again. “The morning after I put my last one down, I went running,” he said. “And I realized my hand felt strangely empty. So I went home and did the math. And you know what? I realized I’d run 11,000 miles with that dog. No wonder my hand felt empty, hey?”

“We all go through it,” he said gently. “You’ll be OK.”

You know, dog people are the nicest people.

The top picture is Ditto with the bumper (that incredibly desirable orange thing), looking as pleased as punch. Kenya was always faster than her, so she’d let Kenya go get it, cut her off at the pass, and steal the bumper out of her mouth. The bottom picture is my two soggy girls waiting for Andy to throw the bumper again. “Throw it already!”