Today Auntie M learned that one of her Screw Iowa writing buddies had lost her dog, Athena.  It’s always sad when a pet dies, and even though Athena was 15, she will be sorely missed by this entire family.  L’s family is gathering as I write this to bury their much-loved pet next to her brother Apollo in their garden.  It’s a tradition and like most family traditions, this one comes from love, this time the love for pets who occupy so much of our lives.  L’s husband even made Athena’s coffin, as he did for Apollo, and their children will fill it with her toys and other mementos to take with her on her journey to doggie heaven, where the sky rains down juicy bones and the streets are paved with biscuits, and all the dogs run like puppies again.

Anyone reading this blog knows how much I love my own dogs, and am drawn to others pets, so I empathize with my friend and her family.  My friend, whose days writing at home alone, now that children are grown and dispersed, were usually broken up by taking Athena for walks.   Having lost that unconditional love, that face always happy to greet you when you come home, takes getting used to, and I send L. and love and the hopes that time will leave her with only the good memories of her beloved pet.

On another note, our wildfires have spread to 39,000 acres, but away from our house.  We feel blessed.  Sean’s fire station is still feeding and sheltering people, but Doc has the day off.