Bruno and me at the Thompkins Square Park dog parade on Halloween in 2002. Yep, she was dressed like a hooker.
Some of you may have noticed that when I write about stuff that Lily says, these things oftentimes pertain to god and marriage. Which I find rather fucking hilarious, since I'm not religious and I'm separated.
Tonight she was talking about her grandparents dead dog, Bruno, and how she was now in heaven with god. This led to a discussion about where you are before you're born (you're in heaven too, we decided), and Lily stated that before she was born she lived in heaven with god and was "god's wife".
But back to Bruno. Bruno belonged to Shawn and me a lifetime ago, before Lily, when we used to live in the East Village of Manhattan, where cool young people like us would walk their cool dogs down Avenue A and all meet up at the dog park in Thompkins Square. We'd drink our vegan espresso drinks and talk about politics and yoga and the fucked ass war in Iraq and Britney Spears. The dog park was really clique-y. The dog owners were, and so were the dogs, as a result.
Bruno was like Ally Sheedy in "The Breakfast Club". She'd get to the dog park and run around in circles like a savant, alienating all the other dogs, then she'd shyly jump up on the bench and lay her head in my lap. I'd be like, go! Run around! You can do this inside the tiny room we live in down the block! But no. She was a whippet-lab cross (best we could figure), so she had the sweet loyalty of a labrador mixed with the high-strung neurosis of a miniature racing dog with a heart that could burst at any moment. Her strange behavior could be infuriating.
Anyway, I digress. So, when I got pregnant with Lily we realized how insane it would be to live in an overpriced studio apartment with a dog, cat and baby and we moved to one of the outer boroughs of Manhattan. Bruno freaked out. She hated Astoria. It didn't help that we had moved from one of the most dog-friendly neighborhoods in New York to one where no one seemed to have a dog at all. I would walk her down my block and people would literally leap away from us, as if I were walking a giant tiger with a bloody child's leg hanging out of its mouth. It was weird. And Bruno became such an asshole. I came home one steamy day in July, like 7 months pregnant, to find an entire block of cheese had been eaten out of the fridge. She somehow figured out how to paw open the refrigerator door and spent the day gorging herself on the most toxic foods imaginable for dogs.
So when Lily was born we realized just how miserable this poor animal was going to be living in QUEENS with a new baby and two people too sleep deprived and busy to walk her or even pet her. It just wasn't fair. So Shawn's parents came and took her to live in the land of milk and honey upstate. And the last few years of her life were tranquil and awesome.
But she got cancer and had to be put to sleep last week. I was struck by how upset it made me. Maybe what struck me really was that the end of Bruno's life sort of signifies the end of an era in my life too.
Lily was going to visit her grandparents this weekend. She wanted to bring her a dried flower to put on the grave that her grandfather and Shawn had buried her in. She said,
"Now Bruno is god's dog". Indeed.
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