Alice is the name I use when calling a certain dog. I don’t know, and no one knows, whatever name this pup went by before she was born nor soon afterward.
I occasionally wonder what memories Al has of her first few months before she joined us. I also occasionally wonder what memories Al has of her first months together with us and her years when we were all together and happy.
I frequently wonder if Alice wonders how it was that she curled up between the legs of her favored person for the last time and who murmured “Alice always wants to be with me” and whose body then grew cold and was carted off, and why her master then vanished.
I wonder if Al wonders why I’m now a distant-second runner-up fill-in for her favorite human who somehow vanished.
The most cruel trick one could play on Alice would be to say “Mommy!” Its potential crueltry may have diminished, however―I have no way to know; I haven’t dared to try it―with the passage of time. Time, the slayer of all things.