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Doggos

Good Dogs: Meet Tank

A tribute to an old friend.

There is wisdom in those eyebrows. (Photo: Christopher Robbins)

I don't remember exactly when I first met Tank, but it was over a decade ago. A shaggy dog, amiably trotting from a great distance, I knew from a hundred yards that this was a friend.

I don't know who Tank's parents are, but he has one of those names that is hilariously incongruous with who he is: sweet, inquisitive, inhabiting a life of his own, but willing to stop by and say hello whenever you are around. The smelly opposite of a steel-plated, crushing death machine. What tank has a bushy tail? You never see a tank flip over to expose its leaf-riddled belly, in a casual, post-treat come-hither. Maybe that's the problem.

Tank is also teaching me about loss, in a very real and cliche way. He is extremely old, and getting older. His clean gallop has now morphed into a kind of messy sashay, though it is no less enthusiastic. I know that one day I'll show up and Tank won't be there anymore, his white eyebrows shining kindness, and I can't bear it. Maybe he is a tank, after all, bursting through my useful illusions, shooting down fantasies of who I am and what all of this is, and means.

Yes, Tank deserves a treat. It's the least I can do.

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