Two dogs in my little e-list of dog owners died on the same day last week. Fritz was in kidney failure and Nicho's little body just couldn't take his epileptic seizures any more.
It is hard to lose a dog, even when you know its time will soon be up. It is even harder to take when two go on on the same day.
And it is really, really hard to explain the loss and the grief I feel when these are dogs that I've only known through an e-list. One lives in Missouri, the other in Minnisota. How do you explain the tears for a dog that you've never petted, never scratched behind the ears, never rubbed its belly? And yet, I do know Fritzy and Nicho. I know how Frtizy like to be acknowledged as a pretty boy, and how he loves running in the park and riding in the car, and how when he was for a while an only dog after the older dog died, hid under the bed in misery for days. And how Nicho went from foster home to foster home and when he was finally really home, it was realised that he came with major medical problems, all of which he, and his people, fought valiantly.
Maybe this says so much about the reach of a dog.
I am reminded of an elegy that Theodore Roethke wrote in an elegy for a student:
"... I speak the words of my love:
I, with no rights in this matter,
Neither father nor lover."