A few months ago my beloved lab Biscuit somehow got a hold of some rat poison and almost died. For awhile, it looked like she surely would. I started to go through the realization, fortunately premature, that I was going to lose her. It was pretty awful. People immediately think, yes, but it's not as bad as losing a human loved one, and that's true. But you also come to realize, for better or worse, that you love your dog a lot more than you love all but a few people and losing that dog is going to leave a large dog-shaped hole in your heart. It leaves you facing a bitter truth at the very heart of life, that to love is eventually to endure loss. Perhaps part of the reason we love dogs so much is that they have nothing to say in response to that, and don't need to say anything.