She left her bed, pulled her sleep shirt over her head,
as she always did at the long mirror behind the door,
a long shirt her husband used to wear and baggy pants
and soft for walking the dog. She unrolled the leash,
the clip between her thumb and forefinger, whistling as
always did to let the dog know the day had begun.
hear his body rubbing against the door, didn’t hear him
as he always did. She ran down the hall past the
her office and the spare room. At the front door
lay the dog.
He’s old she told me weeks before - told me his age, but
I don’t know about dogs, know less about people who own
them, people who love them, train them, buy special food.
She wipes up his mess with the cultural section of Ha’Aretz
the intellectual paper. The farthest I’d go is the
one. I’d put that out for a dog, if I had one, but
Political stuff there, high level opinions. Book
That’s how much my friend loves her dog. That level
of devotion is out of reach to me, but I admire her.
Two days ago she called: My dog died. It
almost finished me.
I offered her the kind of condolence one gives for the
of an elderly aunt, and she said:
I’ll measure my life from when he died.
It was colder than it looked the day her dog died. Katushas
shelled an apartment building in Kiryat Shmonah and badly
injured a man in a nearby kibbutz.
It wasn’t a day you could compare with any other,
I say to her.
- Rochelle Mass