Often, when I am watching TV at home with my wife, we find ourselves at the edge of our seats while horrific events take place on the screen. Zombies are eating one of the shows key characters. A gruesome murder must be solved by those good crime scene investigators in Miami. Or Mel Gibson is getting tortured again on behalf of Scotland, the American colonies, the LAPD or whatever.
Through all these horrific, bloody and disturbing scenes, we watch silently. Not a noise, except the occasional sound of a hand searching for whole pieces of popcorn inside an almost empty bag. Until…a dog appears on-screen looking a little distressed. That’s when my wife begins making noises. Sad, sorrowful sounds that show no awareness that, like all the other actors on the screen, these animals are simply acting their part. Or, most likely, just sitting there while a sound editor drops in his best, dog-whining-because-his-owner-has-been-eaten-by-a-zombie sound effect.
While I make fun of my wife, the truth is that I find myself feeling this way too. And I don’t think we’re alone. There’s something about dogs that brings out the human in all of us. They allow us to be our true self. It was with this in mind that we set out to create our first Bucket theme, “Dogs. Life.” — a collection of five articles from four writers about the living, dying and loving of dogs. At the same time, it is about our own lives…and deaths. Which is why it is so Bucket.
In Layers of Grief, our Managing Editor, Morgan Baker, writes about how the emotional loss of a pet can become intertwined with other transitions in your life like an empty nest.
In To Dog or not to Dog, Joyce Alla weighs the pros and cons of getting a dog just when you might be getting your freedom from other responsibilities in life. Next is a companion article from Joyce, Sit, Stay, or Travel? which shares practical tips on the best ways to travel with your dog.
In Lesson From a Dog, Bucket columnist Abigail Thomas (Abby’s Corner) writes a powerful essay about what she’s learned about living from her dying dog, Cooper.
Finally, in Fido’s Resting Place, Timothy Gower explores the options you have available for burying, cremating and memorializing your beloved pet.
Yes, these articles are all about dogs. But we hope that reading about dogs will allow you to let in the feelings you have about your own life as a human. And how they can help you make decisions that will help you lead a more fulfilling life. Enjoy.