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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dogs, Death and Thoughts of a Three-year-old...

One recent morning, there was a video on PBS, between episodes of Curious George, that showed a boy playing with his Golden Retriever.

I tell my son, "Look, the dog looks like Shakespeare."

Our fifteen-and-a-half-year-old Golden Retriever, named Shakespeare, passed away this past summer and I guess, the video and my comment got him thinking.

I left him watching TV, while I finished getting ready and, as we were getting ready to leave the house, he comes up to me and says, "Daddy, Garbo won't die." 

"What?" I asked, not understanding what he was trying to tell me.  He repeated, "Garbo won't die."

Garbo is our Rottweiler, who will be eleven next month.

Without much thought, I tell him, "We all die, buddy... (pausing briefly and noticing what I had just said)... but, it's OK, because we go to be with God in heaven." (as I tried to remove the foot from my mouth)

Several minutes later, when I had already forgotten the conversation, and was pulling up to his school, my son says, "Garbo won't die, Daddy.  Garbo won't die."  He said this with conviction but obviously concerned.  It sounded like the thought had been churning in his little brain during the five minutes or so it took to drive to school (Is it too early to think he's a budding philosopher, contemplating life, death and its meaning?).

"No, buddy, Garbo won't die," I reassured him, a bit surprised by the way this appeared to be weighing on his mind.
Less than a minute later, he was laughing and playing with a toy.

So much for deep thoughts (or mental scars)...

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