A comforting card from my sister had this quote from Dr. Seuss:

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

This is some of what happened:

  • Obviously, he loved cats.
  • A Labrador Retriever who retrieved only a little more often than he spent days in Labrador.
  • He got yummy treats and toys on July 24, 2004 after hearing Happy Birthday in English and Lang Sal Salava (sic as per our American pronunciation) in Dutch. After that association, he assumed those were his songs. So he got treats at everyone’s birthday party.
  • For some other Pavlovian reason, someone sneezing was interpreted as playtime. If you sneezed, a dog toy was on its way to you.
  • He loved trips to the dog park. It helped him remember he wasn’t a cat. Although his sexual orientation was neutered male, being humped by other dogs, many of them neutered males, was just part of the play. Whatever, said Mellow Grover. I accused him of being a star f***er when one of the local weather reporter’s two dogs did this. Although it was a warm, sunny winter’s day, the free, exclusive weather report she gave me in compensation—icy by Thursday—was right on.
  • He was so gentle. When one of the uninvited animals ran by him one winter, he caught the mouse in his mouth. When he let it go, it scampered away across the kitchen, unharmed.
  • Yes, he would kiss you to death. His kisses bordered on waterboarding. He loved everybody.
  • 9 years of unconditional love.

A lot to smile about.