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10:02 p.m. - Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003
Andy, or \"Get Over It, He Was Just a Dog\"

If the sky were suddenly to turn red, or the Earth reverse the direction of its spinning, or people begin talking backwards, it would be a lesser change, I would be less shocked, than this difference: that a wriggling, laughing, barking, tail-wagging bundle of animation becomes a still and silent lump of fur and flesh on the floor; that those keen eyes, from which nothing escaped, are blank and blind; that a beloved companion of twelve years abandons me abruptly, completely, hopelessly.

How improbable, incongruous, that I come face to face with the Great Mystery in my own garage, as I'm hastily going through my get-ready-to-go-to-work routine in the morning.

I tell myself that Andy is better off, that he's beyond all suffering, that he's at peace. I know it. That's not why I'm crying. I'm crying because, when I got home from work this evening, I looked for him in his usual place; I looked for those eyes to catch mine, those quick, intelligent, expressive eyes; I looked for them, and saw only the empty breezeway or the eternal silence of immeasurable space.

I'm crying because, when I look at that picture up there, I can't remember having shot it. That was a nice summer day, evidently; there's Andy looking as if he's humoring the silly lady with the camera; the purple flowers are in bloom but I can't remember that day. I'm crying because twelve years of my life slipped by, slipped away, disappeared; because yesterday when I buried Andy, I buried twelve years of my life.

I'm crying because I want to comfort him, and I can't. He's completely beyond me. He doesn't need my comforting anymore.

I'm crying because I miss Andy. Not for all the world would I call him back, even if I could: I want to believe that, wherever dogs go after they die, it's better than this place. I would not call him back, but I miss him. He was a pain in the ass, but I miss him. He was a pain in the ass, but I loved him.

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