A Sad Story About A Good Dog

Newsletter #4

Hello all,

I’ve been away for a while. Sorry about that. I tried writing about what happened. The story of my last few months. It’s called A Sad Story About A Good Dog.

It starts like this:

“I think we should get a dog.”

This was my wife, Alex, our first night sheltered in place. I was on the couch, in sweatpants, eating a burrito; Alex stood before me in jeans and a black blazer. In the crook of her right arm she cradled a laptop full of research she’d conducted on Bay Area dog shelters. She twirled her free hand as she spoke, like a lawyer addressing the court. “And I think it should be a puppy. A young puppy. Preferably with floppy ears. What do you think?”

“I think it’s a great idea,” I replied quickly, aware that her question had not really been a question, and that it would have been unwise to offer my honest opinion, which was that I thought adopting a puppy to be a bad idea. My reasons were mostly selfish. For one thing, though several months of quarantine-style isolation did seem ideal context for puppy-raising, I had imagined spending those months in a starkly different way — like by investing bullishly in myself. I wanted to read the New Yorker, write a novel, acquire abs (burritos notwithstanding). I wanted to install bookshelves. And it was hard thinking of a better way to torpedo that dream than by adopting an animal predisposed to destroying furniture. I had also long suspected dogs’ love for man to be more transactional than man likes to admit — that what dog-behavior we interpret as love is, more often, hunger — and so more generally, I doubted whether the new-puppy destruction to which Alex and I would be submitting could possibly, ultimately, be worth it.

Then I met the puppy in question.

Read more here.

This feels good to get out into the world. I hope you like it.

More soon. Much love,