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Life With a Dog: You Meet People

Yes, he’s a lot of work, at least at this age. But like a small child, Max makes me laugh many times a day. That’s not unusual, apparently: In a study of 95 people who kept “laughter logs,” those who owned dogs laughed more often than cat owners and people who owned neither.

It’s been a while since our dog Bebe passed away.

But we’re picking up a new dog in May. Indeed, dogs are a lot of work but they just make life better.

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My Dear Friend, Bebe

I lost my best friend yesterday. She was 16 years old. She’d been around for about half of my life, ever since the day we bought her in a dog store off Madison Avenue. She was a New Yorker at heart, and a Yorkie after all.

But after dancing on the back porch at my wedding more than two years ago, Bebe started to slow down. She lost most of her vision and her hearing.

Bebe at my Wedding, July 2, 2011

Bebe’s most admirable characteristic was her persistence. She never gave up. In fact, she just got cuter with age. Her hair continued to grow in knots. People thought she was still a puppy at 16. How could you disagree? Look at that face!

Bebe chilling earlier this Summer

Bebe kept a cute face and a positive attitude despite her rapidly ailing body. She always remained happily focused in her own world even as the younger dogs wanted to play with her.

Last night, I lit a candle for Bebe at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and reread an email from my Mom sent earlier that day. My Mom had just received the book Dog Heaven from a family friend. My Mom wrote:

when dogs go to heaven they don’t need wings because God knows that dogs love running best. When a dog first arrives in heaven, she just runs. I think BeBe missed running and jumping the most.

I grew up with two brothers so Bebe was the second girl in our house. I always joke with my wife that Bebe was also my first girlfriend.

Death is a celebration of life. We’ll love and remember Bebe forever, just as we do Bullet, our Silkie Terrier that passed away five years ago.

We’ll always be in touch with you Bebe as you run and jump through the clouds in Heaven.

Chatting with Bebe
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My Dog

She’s virtually blind. She only sees the slightest of light through her waves of hair.

Most of the day she just wanders, re-circling her own path just to stay in motion. She runs into things like chairs and walls but she keeps going. She grows riskier with each step; fear is her fuel.

All my dog wants to do is walk. She used to be so stressed; now she just moves in the moment in complete freedom and excitement of whatever is next.

My dog is thinking, feeling, and experiencing the world all at the same time. She knows no restraint. Her laps around the house are always full of love, for life and for us.

She’s winning the fight.