Time echoes in pets

The parents recently bought a puppy which closely resembles one they bought when I was six weeks old.  I grew up with it and was probably excessively wounded when it died.

 

We were roughly 12 and a half and I’d never known a day without him.  It remains my harshest ever experience of grief, for which I suppose I should be grateful.  After all, it was just a dog.


(Even so, just typing that last sentence still smarts: “just a dog”?! *sniffle*)


Seeing recent photographs of Mum with the new puppy couldn’t help but evoke comparison with similar photographs taken roughly my lifetime ago.
 

The puppy itself is impossibly cute right now, eight weeks old, its character and lolloping running style still immature and undefined.

 

Can’t help thinking a touch morbidly though.  Will this be their last dog?  One which will see them into proper old age?  Might I even, one day, be obliged to take custody of it, when it’s fully grown, old itself, creaky, a faculty or two gone?  If not this one, maybe another.  A smaller, downsized, more manageable one.  Where will I be then?


As ever, I can’t even guess where I’ll be in a handful of years.  A decade or so hence still appears as intimidatingly unforeseeable as it did when I was a child.  There’s still no plan.

 

Time seems to resonate more strongly through family pets than through humans, possibly due to their limited lifespan: more manageable chunks of time for the memory. As well as their permanent-seeming embroidery into the fabric of day-to-day family life at the time, and the gaping space they leave when they go.

 

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