Diablo and Rosario, April 26, 2010.

Diablo has died.

The last day I saw him he was a skeleton in a black shroud. Dressed for his impending death. He was as usual shadowing Rosario. While Rosario stopped for a moment at our door to talk with us, I fed Diablo some stale tortillas. He listlessly ate a few bites until he saw Rosario walk on. He followed his virtually blind master, the ever-constant self-taught seeing-eye dog. I had a premonition I would not see Diablo again. He died a few days later.

Diablo was about ten years old. That he lived as long as he did is testimony to what a living organism can endure. As is Rosario, an ancient, at times obstinate, virtually penniless, solitary, sightless man who lives in a hovel. Diablo was the loyal companion of a destitute man. Not castrated, vaccinated, or medicated, he was a carrier of vermin and multiple canine diseases and he got into fights with other male dogs. He was forever gentle with us. I indulge myself by thinking he had a liking for me, because I petted him and cooed to him. I loved Diablo, and many times I imagined taking him away from Rosario for my own, a self-centered, dim-witted idea.

Diablo divulged a harsh truth about me: I have more sympathy for dogs than I do for certain of their masters.


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