Goodbye, Shiva

You will be missed (somewhat). Shiva is Dan's sister's dog--a mix of a mutt who was part Dalmatian, part Afghan, part fatty. Jodi and Stan have had her for a very long time, and she was the kind of dog who, as long as I knew her, seemed worried, pretty much constantly. Her main goal in life, as far as I could see, was to get to drink out of the toilet bowl. She also spent much of her time around the house with her nose to the floor, sucking up food droppings like a furry vacuum cleaner. Many times, she served as a pillow and playmate for Juliette, who I'm sure is very sad now.

One of the hardest parts about losing a pet is after years of companionship is that you also lose that link to your past--the person you were when you first got the animal. And it reminds you of your own mortality, or at least reminds you that a significant part of your past is now gone.

I've had two pet cats die--Gretel and Henri. Gretel was my connection to Florida State and college, so when she died, I was like, Okay, now I've lived an entire animal's life since college. Henri belonged to my days as a twenty-something in Chicago. When he died, I could no longer pretend that my days of shopping for $2 skirts at the Brown Elephant were just around the corner. When I lose Ernesto and Emma Carol, I suppose I will be nostalgic for my first few years in Philadelphia. .

In any case, I'll miss Shiva. She was a good girl.