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|Family Matters Mar/Apr - Page 4|
"The Thug of Thalia."
I rested my chin on the end of the shovel and sobbed, drool running down into the grave. As I looked into the hole, my eyes teary and blurred, the dog's body being covered with dirt seemed like I was looking at the years blur backward, like he was floating off into some sort of "tunnel of time" effect from an old movie, only this was real. When we finished, I looked across the creek and saw two new bamboo shoots, one about two feet tall and the other about six feet. It was corny and obvious—"life starting as life is being put to rest"—but wonderfully true. It made me smile.
We finished shoveling the last of the dirt, and were about to leave. "Ranger, this is Snowball! Talk to him!" I loudly commanded. Jennifer and I hugged, and left.
When we were back in the yard, Jennifer carefully washed the shovel.
Three and a half months later, we adopted Maxie from German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California. She's a sweet, shy, 11/2 -year-old black-and-tan with long feathery hair around her ears. She's our first girl dog.
Michael Hoyt, Ph.D., is a staff psychologist at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Rafael, California. His most recent book is Brief Psychotherapy: Principles and Practices. Contact: email@example.com. Letters to the Editor about this department may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.