There’s a new dog in the Ortberg-Lavery household this week by the name of Wilson – Mr. Wilson, as I have been calling him, is actually a bastardization given to him by Nicole’s eldest child Amelia – who’s staying with us as a guest for the next week and a half. As you might imagine, I’ve been almost frantic over the prospect of getting to ruffle his ears and speak to him, and it’s been simultaneously thrilling and painful to have an animal in the house again. A few times in the night I woke up to the sounds of Mr. Wilson snoring, and the sound was so like Murphy’s snores that my heart leapt within me to think somehow the laws of magic and attraction and confusion had summoned him back into bed with us. He is in many ways so like Murphy – same teacup head, same stout gravity, same feathered ribbons of fur along his paws, same smartly-saluting wing of tail, same habits when eating peanut butter from a spoon – that the ways in which he is not like him come as a surprise. Mr. Wilson is in rude good health where Murphy was a shivering collection of broken-down parts, a rag and a bone and a hank of hair. Mr. Wilson is not offended by being picked up and carried. Mr. Wilson smells good, and has tidy white teeth. His back feet splay differently when he sits, his ears flop over in an unlike arrangement to Murphy’s
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