On a few occasions over the past few months Bode has mentioned that he missed our old dog, Karma. She was a great pup over the past 13 years and Bode got to enjoy her final four years with us. Older dogs have a special quality that blends well with kids. They are patient. Grateful. Content.
An older dog is well-matched with a four-year old boy.
He’s seen and petted many dogs (every one of them) recently and Angela’s parents have a dog, Buster, who is graying in all the usual places and will wait patiently for a pet or scratch. So, it eventually came… “Dad, I miss Karma. I wish she didn’t die.”
“I miss her too.”
Observing the process of death being understood by a four year old kid is enlightening. We’ve been pretty straightforward with him about every subject, and death is no different.
It’s part of Life. It’s The End. Kafka said it’s the meaning of Life.
He’s processed it all and seems to have a surprisingly mature and realistic grasp of everything. He’s often more fearless in talking about death and his own mortality than any adult I know.
Not being a “kid guy” until I had my own, I find it astounding.
Within seconds he’s thinking about getting a snack and we are playing Batman and racing Matchbox cars. A day in the life.