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My dog Norma died two days ago, and I am still trying to move past it. With little success.

It actually reminds me of the summer of 1989, when I worked as an assistant counselor at a summer camp near my home in Mahopac, N.Y. I was positioned alongside another assistant counselor—Jen, I believe, was her name. And while Jen was nice, she was sort of unreliable. Here. There. Up. Down. Friendly, but just inconsistent.

Anyhow, one day Jen didn’t report to work. When I asked why, someone said, “Her dog died.”

I was dumbfounded.

Jen missed work … because a dog died? A stinkin’ dog? Seriously?

I don’t think I gave her grief, but I definitely thought negatively.

And now, some three decades later, I owe Jen an apology.

I get it.

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