The House Feels Empty

by Jonah Goldberg

As a family we took Cosmo to the Friendship Animal Hospital last night. He needed to be checked in the night before so he could be ready for surgery this morning. He knew where we were going but gamely walked with us from the car to the vet without a leash. Inside, he leaned heavily against one or the other of us, panting quietly. Cosmo’s had surgery before and other run-ins with the vet before, so he knows being taken to the back room isn’t a good thing. Whenever he’s afraid of something he tries to please us (which is funny because it proves that when he’s comfortable and doesn’t want to do something it’s not because he doesn’t understand).

So when we asked Cosmo to get on the scale at the doctor’s office — which he hates doing; he dislikes unsure footing and metal surfaces — he jumped aboard. But when the big orderly tried to then take him in the back, using a choke leash, Cosmo jumped back on the scale. See! I can do it again! He then jumped back on a third time and crouched low trying to hold on. Alas, no thumbs so that didn’t work. I had to escort him down the corridor to the back room, while he kept trying to duck into side examining rooms, all the while trying to plant his feat in the linoleum.

On the drive home Lucy said, “in my throat it feels you’re gonna cry.” She still has trouble with pronouns.

This morning, when I cam downstairs in the dark, there was no Cosmo thumping his tail against the wall as he clung to the warmth of the dog bed, offering a little sonar beacon for me to find my way to him. The house feels very empty without him.

Yes, yes. He’ll be fine. We pick him up tomorrow which will launch one of the longest canine dirty-looks and grudges marathons in recorded history. The squirrels lining the outsides of the window to mock him, dropping their squirrel trousers to moon their rat butts at him, won’t help either.

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