The dog named Lefty came into my world on the heels of opening an indoor skatepark, a tough era that wouldn’t have been navigable without the company of a life-affirming fluffball. And at this, he excelled. For the past 5 years, Lefty went where I went. Working. Skateboarding. Camping. It was all better with him there.
Two weeks ago, I found out Lefty had cancer. Now he’s on the other side. He departed us on an auspicious Friday—a lunar full-moon eclipse. We buried him at sunset under a sapling maple as dark-winged birds flapped south in formation and the sky turned peach overhead.
In 5 years, we had enough adventuring to last 5 lifetimes. Still, I thought I’d have more time. But you get what you get. We aren’t guaranteed shit. I do know that there’s no easy way to decide when it’s the right time to end another life.
Despite the profound silence in the house now, I feel lucky. How lucky am I for knowing this giant-pawed squealin’ bear? Friendship with animals is, maybe, one of the purist, most joy-giving things in existence. Dog tails wag with happiness and hope; their soft coats offer warmth and comfort. We feed them, we exercise them, we command them to sit and stay—and then we tell them they’re good. In return, they LOVE us. Pow!