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An academic friend writes an interesting response to my Particular Loves, in this Life and the Next :

I think about these things too, and you’ve put all of it very well indeed. There is another column that could be written about the peculiarly private grief involved in losing a beloved pet, a grief for which there is no generally accepted social recognition. No one excuses a man from work on account of his grief over the loss of his dog, and most people think a man who tears up over the memory of his dog is rather silly. Which fact only adds to one’s sadness. (As does the disproportionate sympathy from people who are nutcases over dogs.)

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