“I think he’s dying,” I whispered to Jordan. I’d finally gotten up the nerve to say it.
I’ve been preparing for my dog Cosmo’s death since he was 8 years old. Now he’s 14, almost 15, and I’m sure his death is just a breath away — and that he will surely live forever. Both things are true (they always are).
To be clear, Cosmo has always gotten a clean bill of health from the vet — I just decided arbitrarily when he was 8 that 8 was getting old, for a dog, and that I should steel myself; the worst could happen.
(It always can.)
But here we are, almost 7 years later, me whispering that Cosmo’s on his death bed, when really… he had indigestion.
DIRE INDIGESTION (cue horror movie music).
But no — just regular indigestion. A version of it. You know when you give a dog steak, and the dog kind of goes a little crazy? Like some primal animal thing has been triggered that is usually kept at bay whilst napping on the couch? Yeah. Cosmo had that, amplified by his old age — panting, pacing, his body not quite sure it had really gotten to enjoy what it just enjoyed… and that it was so… easy.
Could this good thing really be right there in front of me for the taking?, Cosmo probably wondered.
Yes, Cosmo. Yes, Amanda: Good things are right in front of you; the present is not a problem to be solved, always. As psychologist Dan Gilbert preaches: We don’t even know who we’ll be tomorrow. The only constant is change. Your dog could die, or not, and the same for you. So eat the steak. Enjoy the steak. And if it keeps you up all night panting, goddammit, it was worth it.
It was worth it.