Good dogs never die, they just cross the street one last time into the sunset

So last night my cousin (14) called me up to let me know her dog had just died that afternoon. He was like the family’s pet because he didn’t really like anybody and it was so funny.
He’d gone out for a walk and crossed the big, wide, thronging avenue and was run over by a car. He was taken to the veterinary by a few good neighbors but died of internal bleeding shortly afterwards anyway.
[Dog’s name] was a seven year-old mutt whom pretty much spent the last seven years of his life doing exactly & solely what he wanted, caring not a damn about the world in general… except for that one time during Christmas, ’01 in which me and my (ex-)girlfriend bought him a Santa Claus suit that cost us five bucks in the back-alleys of the city. He bit me twice that night, but got to wear the suit anyway, even if for a split-second, and was immortalized in kodachrome forever.

It’s kind of funny because when she rang me up she was kind of laughing. She was joking about the whole thing, first saying she had good news, then all of a sudden switching for the bad news, etc. It made me remember how being a teenager really sucked, because we’re all able to qualify everything then, such as death, but we can’t really quantify anything. Hence, the girl knew exactly what death meant, she’d gone to her share of funerals herself, but she still doesn’t know how to talk about it, how to deal with it per se.
And it made me remember how cool being a grownup really is.
…Because when you’re say, 19, people will step up to you and expect you to babble out some wizardry out of your lips, and you find none because you’re still tripping on your own feet. But at 26? It’s not perfect yet but it’s a whole damn better; you’ve met people, you’ve read books, you’ve seen the movies and listened to the songs, you’ve lived a bit and when all of a sudden this small girl is looking up to you for guidance and you gotta come up with a good bit about her dead dog… well, all of a sudden I was staring through the window and thinking about that scientist guy Rupert Sheldrake, the biologist or something, for no good reason whatsoever, and I’m thinking about his crazy-assed theories about the Morphogenetic Field… like about dogs knowing their owners are coming home before they arrive, or how if a determined number of monkeys learn this new trick the whole species automatically learns the same trick, etc… and I’m also thinking about C. G. Jung’s tombstone which has this line in Latin written over it and it goes like, Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit, and that’s pretty much where I find the words to tell the girl.
I tell her (all very tongue-in-cheek as customary in the family) that [dog’s name] is not a dog, but a state of mind, and it makes her laugh. I tell her that the first thing we’re going to do is throw this big party celebrating [dog’s name]’s life, then we’ll begin a systematic series of visits to municipal dog pounds everywhere looking for the next [dog’s name], and this new [dog’s name] is going to be the meanest, weirdest dog ever to walk the Earth, and she agrees.
“Kind of like the Dalai Lama, see?” I tell her, “only it’s not so specific because we’re not talking about a holy person but about a force of nature.”
“…What?,” she asked, not really getting it.
“Uhhh… More of a totem, really,” I explain. “Like this Indian animal spirit?”

Funny bit is, [dog’s name] is actually the second dog to have that name. The first one was this dog I had myself for a few months, didn’t really have the time to get emotionally attached to him, then my cousin was given a (new) dog herself, she was like 6 years old, and chose the name [dog’s name]. So it stuck, so the legend began, and I think it’s time to move on, then, not really believing in all that metaphysical crap but actually using it as a fulcrum for a good joke.
Meaning that in a few months we’ll probably tell the world that Mother Earth is tapping into the Morphogenetic Field and coming up with a new [dog’s name], the third one, and so the legacy shall endure, and the girl will smile, and we’ll have yet another short, stocky, grouchy mongrel to (try to) dress up like Santa during Christmas.

…I still have that picture.
My hand hurts every time I see it, that’s where [dog’s name] bit me when I tried to fasten the big black belt with the silver buckle around his waist.