Dolly is so small, that when she stands in front of Scout, he doesn’t have to lift his aching head to see her—she’s just there, panting, with her terrible crooked teeth and weepy button eyes. So when the two of them know that I’m about to take them for a walk, Dolly jumps up in Scout’s face, and says to him, in shih tzu language (which spaniel’s understand), “Dude, get with it: we’re leaving!” and Scout smacks her on her head with his paw, and pretends to bite her little head off. This happened today, in fact, even after the email came in from the vet, saying she doesn’t think Scout has canine dementia, after all, but instead something so much worse, that it’s ridiculous and I’m not going to say it. It’s like that passage from Salinger’s “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenter,” when someone asks Buddy why his older brother Seymour threw a rock from his bedroom window at a girl he liked below, scarring her for life, and Buddy says, “He threw it at her because she looked so beautiful sitting there in the middle of the driveway…. Everybody knew that, for God’s sake.” So I guess you can’t have the wonder without the horror, the good without the bad. Tonight, though, I’m not seeing the charm in that.