I’m gonna do it. I’m going to be one of those people who writes about her dog.

Thank you to those still reading. We don’t need the cat lovers, anyway. Or those interested in deep, metaphysical conversations.

I’m not going to write much. I had other plans for this post. But, alas, it’s hard to separate personal life from writing life and today was a bad day for my dog. For four months, she’s been suffering from regular, though light, nosebleeds. Today, the blood flowed swiftly and emphatically, signaling, as the vet foretold, that the tumor inside her is growing.

I’d like to tell you about her.

Bertie has been a pain in my ass from the moment I took her home from a Wisconsin farm. She’s a picky eater, doesn’t like walking on wet grass, and she whines when she’s lying in an uncomfortable position but doesn’t want to move.

She cries in anticipation 2/3 of the three-hour drive to the family cabin; she won’t play fetch, refuses to heel, and has no particular fondness for children.

She growls at the slightest displeasure, including when you try to cuddle with her. Unless she wants to cuddle with you–then she lies on your legs, all 65 pounds of her, and you can’t move.

She once ate a two-foot-long wire Christmas ribbon and we had to watch for a week for it to come out. It did, slowly, one cold night as I trailed behind her with a flashlight.

And yet.