I'm taking care of my son's dog for a few days while he's on some island off New England. I've known this dog almost since he was a pup.
Almost 17 years old. Aged well up to about a year and half ago... so sad. Arthritic, haunches and ribs bone thin. This is hard for me. I have to ask myself--why? This is a dog. This is not one of my species. An animal. I eat other animals... though not that often.
Two thoughts come to mind. The first: how emotions don't have neat borders. It isn't just this dog...it's all the other losses in my life--an aunt I was very close to, withered away for 17 years from MS, my parents... thoughts of what will become of me--all these experiences channeled, concentrated. Then there's the purity of the emotional bond with a domestic animal. Human relationships are so goddamned complicated--to preserve them you have to keep a lid on the emotions to a certain degree--just because you almost never know what it is those feelings are actually about--and when they're the strongest, it's almost always about something else!
With Zeke, I mostly do understand--to see his Joie du Chien burnt down to a barely discernible ember--holding that against a memory of a few years back, a greeting at the door, the tail going and the barks and the doggy kisses... he doesn't bark anymore. I look at him and want to burst into tears. Foolishly, I know.. but it just wrings my gut. I loved this dog--like a dog. Well disciplined and cared for. Not a Disneyfied anthropomorphic projection.
Just for what he was.
And there it is. So uncomplicated compared to my human relationships...
All this, a lead on to a post on being born by Richard Crary--channeling Lloyd Mintern.