Is a dog dying news? Sure is, always, especially when that pup was a 14-year companion to Tablet royalty and proud dog momma Barbra Streisand. Her Coton de Tulear, named Samantha/Sammie/likely other affectionate doggie-isms, recently passed away. According to The Times of Israel, the legendary entertainer once told The Independent that her dog was “like the daughter I never had,” and that she had previously joined her on a trip to Israel.
This new reminds me of a powerful essay by Tablet’s Mark Oppenheimer about his dog J.J., who brought his (growing) family joy for 13 years.
So there we were: a young, engaged couple; a dog; and a sofa. I can’t say that the dog and the sofa got along. From the first day that J.J. lived with us, she began tearing at the sofa, first a few tufts of stuffing; soon, large chunks. Trying to salvage a few cushions, we began stashing them in the bathroom before we left for work in the morning, then reassembling the sofa when we got home. In the meantime, J.J. gnawed on the sofa’s frame, and there wasn’t much we could do about that. But, of course, she was our child, and we all know that children destroy things. So what could we do?
In time, real children, human children, came along, and I’ve been worried that they will have the hardest time with J.J.’s passing. It’s not that they haven’t known what’s coming.