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From Chapter Fifteen - Cage-Free

Sally brought a dog sweater home the next afternoon, a jaunty black cable-knit that covered Como's shaved half and came up high on his neck. When she pulled it on him the first time, his head popped through with a wild-haired, wind-swirled look. It was a ludicrous, delightful sight.

"Einstein!" Sally declared with a hoot. She was right. The combination of Como's disheveled white head and a crew-neck sweater conjured photographs of the famous physicist. It also clinched a new nickname. "Frankenpup" had become "Einstein," our own private relativity theorist.

From Chapter Sixteen - Z

His accident and its aftermath convinced us, as nothing else quite had, that Como was simply wired in a particular way that was never going to change. And just as we might have done with a cranky in-law who was never satisfied with the way his bagel was toasted, a nosy neighbor who was always dropping in at the most inconvenient times, or a child who worshiped ice skating to the exclusion of anything else, we got used to it. We got used to Como's fixations and eccentricities, his flair for drama and innate ability to entertain us, his egg-beater hair-do when he got up from a nap and his habit of vaulting across the bare floor between the living room and dining room rugs, as if he were still clearing those gates we'd once futilely placed to contain him. We got used to his unpredictable quirks on walks that could be devoted entirely to minute inspection of each and every telephone pole on the block (while ignoring all people and dogs he encountered) or might play out instead as complex, inscrutable social rituals of snubbing anyone who was friendly to him and hopefully wagging his tail at those who walked on by. We didn't pretend to understand a lot of what he did, but we got used to it.

From Chapter Sixteen - Z

It was a little baffling and at times pretty ridiculous, but it was also undeniably true: The scraggly, scared terrier we'd found in a shelter cage one afternoon had made us tune in more closely - to him, to each other, to the lurching ride of our life together.


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