First of all, thank you very much for all the comments. I do appreciate it.
For the record I know perfectly well that I did the right thing and what I blame myself for is making him suffer through six endless hours before I nutted up and – did the right thing. And probably I have a lot of dead chickens to thank for crossing the threshold into “yes, he can pull the trigger.” Because I’ll be honest with you – I spent my whole life wondering if I could do that exact thing. So no, I’m not wallowing in self-loathing over shooting Laddie.
But that doesn’t change how grotesque this is. If anybody ever woke up one fine morning and said to himself, “You know what would be great today? If I could shoot a Corgi!” it’s just really important you don’t hire him on your police force.
In my mind and maybe yours there are two basic kinds of purebred dog: Big capable dogs bred for work, and carpet dogs. Corgis … turn out to kind of bridge that gap and maybe that’s what makes them so preternaturally adorable? Or maybe it’s just that trick they do with their eyes. All I know is once Laddie settled in and really decided I was his person, this was his place and he was cool with that, and that took a while … Well. I liked having him around.
Thing is, I would class Laddie’s breed in the very bottom slot on my list of “dogs I’d like to shoot in the head” if I started having that list. And Laddie is the only one I know. So. Grotesque.
But my description of those six hours is if anything understated. I put him through six hours of hell while I contemplated nonsense about how normal people don’t shoot Corgis, there’s got to be some specific rule against it. I’ll just have to carry that, I’m quite sure I’ll never entirely forgive myself for taking so goddam long to shoot him.
The cancer – that was just bad luck. Dogs never get as old as you’d like. I’ll mourn for him, but life goes on. Like Magnus and Fritz and Ghost and Little Bear, Torso Boy has a place in my heart.
But Jesus Christ! Was Murphy on coke or something, to make me shoot my own goddam Corgi?