“No matter when or where you go, I will follow.” Dogs never know, when you open that front door and give them the O.K. to accompany you, whether they’re headed only to the mailbox, a walk around the block, an epic car camp, or a trip to the airport for a flight across the continent.
Not that any of those matter one way or the other. The only true and important thing: They only want to be with you.
And so it was that in the last few minutes of her life, my beloved companion Shenzi, somewhere near 17 (stray rescue dog adopted 2008, birthday unknown), beset by kidney disease and long compromised by bouts of nausea, appetite loss, bad teeth and near deafness, trotted out ahead of me as we left the screen porch the other day, tail wagging, trailed by my partner Mary and a kindly veterinarian armed with the tools in hand to proceed with the somber and necessary task of bringing her life to a conclusion.