My brother turns forty-three today.
When my mother’s dog Nikki got too old, and was unable to even pick herself up, Mom made the decision to have her put down. Rob and I went over to help take her to the vet. I remember standing over Nikki, trying to figure out how to maneuver this smelly old urine-soaked dog onto the blanket so that we could lift her into the car. Rob finally just pushed me out of the way and reached down and wrapped around her and lifted her up gently in his arms.
To me Nikki was pretty much just my mother’s dog — I mean I liked the dog, don’t get me wrong — but Rob was really quite upset about losing his long-time friend. And yet even with that, Rob was far, far stronger than I was at that moment, visibly grieving but not caring or especially noticing the mess or smell while he was helping his friend at the end of her life.
My brother’s a good guy that way.