A New Love: Meeting Monk

A New Love: Meeting Monk

In 1987, my beautiful English cocker died of liver cancer. He was 14 years old. He left me shortly after my mother’s death, the death of my dearest cousin, and in the midst of my divorce. To say the least, it was a difficult year. I was single in New York City, working for peanuts at a nonprofit and trying to finish a master’s degree. I lived in a fourth-floor walk-up, and my dog could no longer make it up the stairs. I was also very poor. The thought of getting another dog, as much as I had loved this one, was beyond consideration. I mourned Troubles for many years, twenty to be exact. Every dog I met would launch me into the story of my deceased English cocker. People listened politely, even sympathetically, until they would finally ask, “Why don’t you get...

Loss of a Different Kind

Loss of a Different Kind

In these terrible times of multiple losses and deaths, the separation of children from their families, widespread hunger and poverty, the forced isolation brought about by the coronavirus, it might be difficult for anyone to appreciate what the loss of my furry four-legged companion might mean to me. Until that last Monday of the year, at 11:30 a.m., when our beautiful Australian Cattle Dog, Django, took his last breath in our arms, I was never alone. He was a working dog, and I was his job. He followed me everywhere I went, sitting patiently by my side while I spent what must have seemed to him to be meaningless hours at my computer. Django slept by our sides and shared in our food. He didn’t have to beg—he was simply included. He knew his place, and it was...

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