There’s a bagel shop in town, Biff’s, whose walls are covered with framed photos of dogs — pets who have passed on. We’ve gone there for years, and my routine on most Saturdays is to work out in the morning and go for breakfast afterwards.
In October, our dog Uinta tripped and broke her leg. She was sixteen and a half years old, and I’ve had her since she was a puppy. She was very frail, and we made a hard decision to let her go rather than put her through a surgery and painful and confusing recovery. Last week I brought a framed picture of her to the bagel shop and offered it to the woman at the counter, after I had my breakfast.
Today her picture is up on the wall, surrounded by hundreds of other beloved and fondly remembered pets. Holding tears, I asked one of the owners for a moment to talk, thanked her for making a special place for these animals whose short lives sometimes inexplicably and surprisingly become a part of hearts. Then I went and cried in the car for a few minutes.
So today I learned a small bit of just how hard it is to really say goodbye.