Photo by Dianne Dotter

A good friend of mine lost her puppy yesterday. He was 3 years old and beautiful. All tongue and paws. Turk was abandoned at 5 weeks old on the side of a Portland road. I can’t imagine dumping a face like his anywhere, but the circumstance allowed him to be a part of my friend’s life. I’m not sure where she took this photo, but it looks like dog heaven, so I hope he’s there in the brush. It’s nice, isn’t it – to imagine they have some place to go when they leave us? And not just animals, but humans too. Is it too dire to think they don’t? To think we just end? I hope it all looks like this field. I hope we can run wild and never tire. I hope it feels free.
Last night when I heard about Turk’s passing, I looked for Tula. She was asleep on my bed, warming a sweater. I gently pulled in from beneath her, wrapped it around myself – the sleeve imprinted with heat – and smelled her dry linen fur. I don’t know what it is, but I love how she smells. It’s not animal at all, but dry grass and clean with a little dust. She nuzzled her damp nose in my hand and scratched her tongue across my fingers. It’s something I normally don’t let her do very long. But I know she gets some weird enjoyment out of cleaning her owners and maybe if she’s happy, she won’t end for a long time.

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