Parting was such sweet sorrow the afternoon my friend Ann and I picked up Pepper and Coco from puppy daycare at the same time. It’s hard to say who caused more trouble (well, honestly, it’s not that hard. You can imagine.)






We eventually got the pups disentangled and into our respective vehicles.

“How was your day?” I asked Pep. “How was playtime with Coco?”

“I love Coco,” Pep said simply, from the back of the SUV. “I love her pretty white fur, I love the way we play chase, especially since I always catch her, I love the way she shares her toys even if I grab them, I love how she lets me sleep in her bed when she’s boarding.”

“Hmmm,” I replied. “And what exactly do you offer her?”

“I’m good exercise,” Pep replied importantly. “Also, I like the way she thinks,” Pep added.

“Really!” I said. “How does she think?”

“Coco asks the big questions. Like today, she asked me – what if a tree fell in my yard and no one was there to hear it? Would it still make a sound?”

“Wow, Pep, that is a hard question,” I replied, impressed. “What did you conclude?”

“We went back and forth,” she admitted. “I can’t say that we settled the matter. But I’m inclined to think that there’s no sound – as we understand that word – if no one’s there. What do you think?”

I considered. “Well, I’ll have to answer it a bit sideways. Whether it makes a sound or not is beside the point, I think. What seems most important to me is the incontrovertible truth: the tree fell, whether anyone heard it or not. Some large truths are quiet, in contrast to other small truths that can be very loud.”

We pulled into the driveway, I opened the back of the SUV, and Pep bounded out. She headed straight to the front door, as always. 

She turned around before I got to the door. “Coco and I can be loud, but we are not a small truth. We are a big truth,” she said.

“Yes, friends who love each other are one of the biggest truths of all,” I agreed.

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