Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


It’s sad for all of us when my son leaves for college. The dog, however, mourns a little bit. And I think my son mourns the dog a little bit, too. Buddy, a lab mix, turned 14 in April. His age hangs in the air these days like a gathering storm.

My son has been packing, but he stops. “I think I’ll take Buddy for a walk,” he says.

We are empaths, the boy and I; we often sense what others are feeling. It isn’t ESP, but there are times when we are so sensitive to each other that the emotions volley silently between us, mirror on mirror. So when the rawness of what he is feeling settles on me and stops me in my tracks, we both look away out of politeness.

“Yes,” I say, to the floor. “He'll like that.”

They only go to the end of the block and back, but the dog—in spite of going blind and deaf—adores their time together. He knows that his boy will care for him always.

So do I.

The language of friendship is not words, but meanings. ~Henry David Thoreau


  1. Awwww...You know how much I can relate to this! In fact, I thought of your story yesterday...I'm sorry I don't remember the name of it...but the one where you and your beloved dog kind of do dance steps together. That came to my mind as I fixed lunch and Tiger followed my every step in the kitchen! It's sweet and sad at the same time.

  2. I know you can! I'm sorry you're going through it, too, but at the same time...it helps. You know? It is sad, but sweet because we wouldn't feel this way if we didn't love our pets so much!

  3. Don't make me tear up like that, Tammy! There's nothing better than a good old dog who is so much a part of family life that it's hard to think about the hole he'll leave behind one day.


  4. Oy, what'reyou doin to me today! old dog and sweet boy and the walk... geesh. The way people feel about "The Giving Tree" (which I think is a horrible book about a selfish ungrateful boy,) is how I feel about this story. Someone should illustrate it and put a sentence on each page and I'd read it and read it and cry every time.

  5. Sorry guys! But the good thing is that we all adjust in the interim. Thanks, Silly, and I can't stand that selfish ungrateful Giving Tree Boy, either! I want that tree to be like the ones in Lord of the Ring and uproot herself and go live someplace else!


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