” … And what is more unknown than the contents of an animal’s mind? What do we yearn for more than the knowledge of what our dog is thinking—specifically, what he thinks of us?
Maybe only death is more unknown. Maybe the only knowledge more prized than a glimpse inside the mind of another living thing is a glimpse inside the end of life itself. And maybe that’s because pets are, in a way, living embodiments of death. They guarantee us nothing other than the near certainty that they will leave us well before we leave them. They are ticking time bombs that lick our faces. They are prescheduled heartbreak. They leave us no choice but to dread the Rainbow Bridge while secretly hoping it really exists. Our love for our pets is what separates us from the animals. Our love for animals is what makes us human. Which I guess is another way of saying it’s what makes us both totally pathetic and exceedingly blessed.”
— Excerpt from The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion by Meghan Daum, published November 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2014 by Meghan Daum.
Meghan Daum’s essays in The Unspeakable are simply excellent. I find them so very interesting even though many of her views, inclinations and experiences are so very different from my own. I appreciate and envy the searching and fearful fearlessness of her writing.
(P.S. Given the title, I really should write more about Byron, Meghan’s Daumm, dogs and death, but I am pressed for time. Consider this a sketch, or a note to remind me to write something more later.)