January 13, 2013

The Power of a Dog

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite writers. I’m still working through his Sandman comic, a ground-breaker in that genre, and greatly enjoyed his novel Neverwhere, voiced by him for audiobook. He’s an imaginative writer gifted with a warm tone and love for his characters. In Sandman he makes even Death look friendly.

So of course he wrote about the passing of his dog, Cabal, this week, neatly capturing the emotional toll felt by all who have ever owned, lost and mourned four-legged friends. Cabal was just short of ten years old, old enough for a large dog yet not nearly long enough for humans:

I wish dogs lived longer.

He was the best dog in the universe and I’m going to miss him so much.

No matter the joys shared with dogs, we know this day is coming. Neil’s piece illustrates the only way out of the resulting sadness and loss: remembering the joys. A dog will rescue your mind and soul from whatever daily disaster you’ve suffered, and ask only for a meal, a warm bed and a scratch behind the ears in return.

I hope to own a dog or two every day until my last.

Something else stuck out in Neil’s writing: he had never owned a dog, yet took the initiative to stop along a busy highway and rescue Cabal. He’s a good guy.

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