There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
- R. Kipling
It’ll be harder for my wife. She will feel the loss more keenly, I think, because Jasper came before Daughter, and was the vessel into which maternal affections were first poured. (Something that seems like watered-down Kool-Aid into a Dixie Cup compared to actual parenthood, which is full-strength Burgundy into an exquisite delicate goblet.) For men dogs are different. Companions. Pals. Comrades. We used to go walking in the woods on weekends in the midnight hour before Natalie came along, on the hunt for things in the brush, following the glint of the moon on the creek. I know that’s what he loved the most. I know he loved to sit on the warm slab of the radiator and look out on the world. Or run up the stairs and bound up on the bed and pounce in play. I know that some sort of mercy has wiped from his mind the idea that such things were ever possible; I hope that the same sort of mercy lets him revisit those days in dreams.
I've been following Lileks for the last decade plus, and it seems that Gnat and Jasper grew up with my kids.