Saying goodbye: Learning to live and love in dog years
Patrick Linder
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I’m in tears. This is an amazing (and beautifully written) tribute to Baxter. I adopted my pup, Oliver, when I moved into my first studio apartment. He’s been with me every step of the way since, over many years and almost as many apartments. I recently moved again and it’s been a big transition. I’m surprised to find myself leaning on Oliver. I look at him and realize that every place we go, he stays at my side, he acclimates, he guards me, and he finds his place to wait until I come home each night. “Where” never seems to matter; as long as he’s got his person, he’s set. And he, however unknowingly, is my constant. Thank God.

I once watched a documentary about “the science of dogs,” and it talked about how the .01% genetic mutation that separates domestic dogs from wolves must be almost solely the result of the human/dog relationship. The theory was that dogs have adapted over centuries to be of better service to us, the humans, the oft-undeserving recipients of their unconditional love. Whether it’s provable or not, it seems true every time I come home and Oliver leaps from his bed to greet me.

There are so many powerful life lessons to be learned from our relationship with dogs. Thank you for articulating them so well!