I grew up with golden retrievers, and love their cheery disposition, loyalty, and pleasant aesthetic. They’re everything I’m not.
The excitement of the toy was nothing compared to how excited he got when I put on shoes. Shoes! I entertained new possibilities: If Milo could get this excited about shoes, then perhaps other things are worth getting excited about?
I checked on him and he checked on me. At various intervals he’d come over and say hi, ducking his head under my arm so I’d pat him, nudging me softly when I stopped. There was never more than 20 minutes when he didn’t come over.
I took the train home alone. I’d made a friend, and now he was gone. I listened to sad songs and looked at my shoes, rendered plain and unexciting in his wake. Life seemed little more than a Milo-shaped hole.