The Czar of Muscovy looks at pets, and captures a very Hemmingwayesque moment. A reader responds with a longer, but no less poignant story. The Czar muses:
How strange we are. I know pets aren't children, but we in 21st Century America don't expect to outlive our children and yet we willingly go through the cycles of life and death of our beloved little friends so many times. We know that one day we will be standing outside the vet's office, receiving a small box, and embarking on that same path of pain.We all of us experience a moment like this. I know that I did. Lord Byron's memorial to his beloved Newfoundland, Bosun, is so well known that it is nearly cliche. Nearly, but the magnificence - and ferocity - of its sentiment saves it:
Near this spotWe have for millennia bread dogs to be Man's perfect companion - to indeed capture all of our virtues. A creature in whose eyes we see reflected back that man we would wish to be, whether we deserve it or not.
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
When they pass, grief is their due. If we're any damn good at all.