Ben's Answer
Mysterious Ways|February/March 2021
It was midafternoon, and I was already curled up on the couch in the living room with no plans to move.
Beth Hartzell

The day before, I’d had to put down my beloved dog, Ben. I’d spent the rest of the day in a haze, agonizing over my decision. Ben had been 12 years old, with rapidly declining health, and his veterinarian had assured me I’d made the humane choice. But was it? Had I really done the right thing?

On the other side of the room, my husband, Jon, was helping our six-year-old son, Gus, with his homework.

“Which of these worksheets should we have him do first?” he asked me.

“I don’t know. Just pick one,” I said, distracted.

Our older sons, Ted and Lou, played together, chatting happily. My stepson, Oliver, was in his bedroom. With four boys, the house was never quiet. Still, it felt so empty now without Ben.

Before Ben became the family dog, he’d been all mine. In 2008, I went through a difficult breakup. I had just bought my first home and found myself in the perfect situation to finally have my own dog.

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