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Always Part of the Family
My puppy followed me up town, trotting along behind my bicycle, keeping up. Then we stopped at the light where School Street crosses the Boston Post Road Bypass before getting to the Library and the First Parish Church, and, such a show off, she bounded onto the pavement, chasing and growling at the wheels of a slow-moving big rig. It was the rear wheels she didn't see, that rolled over her. Completely.
The kind burly man who climbed out of the cab told me to go home, and he lifted the puppy into his arms. I tried to explain to him that we could fix the sand-covered dangling eye, straighten the nose, wash her soft fur, make her OK. I asked for his help. With one hand he held the inert puppy against his chest; with the other on my shoulder, he told me to go on home.
My friend, John Harnish, came to my house afterwards, and I couldn't help it: I cried.
Then, a lifetime later, and quite unexpectedly, my marriage got run over. Like a shell-shocked soldier desperately stuffing intestines into his wounded belly, I passed a fruitless half year trying to put love back into its socket, trying to straighten the broken trusts, and trying to wash away the dirt. Until it was plainly impossible. Until it was dead.
A dead marriage is a sad thing, and not easily explained.
But puppies and dogs of all ages are always welcome in the Vaughan family.