HEART OF A DOG

Please pardon this brief and unusual moment of public sentimentality. Lists about movies and basketball to resume shortly.
  1. When my grandparents lived in Iran, before the revolution in 1979, they had a Collie. My granddad, who loves American movies, named him Lassie.
  2. In 2008, during my freshman year of college, my then-80 year old granddad got another dog. He was a Collie, from North Carolina, and they named him... Lassie
    (I lost this game of backgammon)
  3. He was, without a doubt, the most beautiful dog I'd ever seen.
  4. After I graduated, I moved back home to Los Angeles, to take care of my parents, both of whom were fighting cancer.
    Maurice looked chic throughout
  5. It was, without a doubt, the hardest year of my life.
  6. All of my friends had, as we'd planned, moved to New York City. I had no friends in Los Angeles, and with nothing else to do, I started walking Lassie.
  7. Every morning, I'd drive the two blocks to my grandparents' house, and take Lassie out.
  8. We'd hike up to Will Rogers Park. Lassie was insatiably curious. And inexhaustible. When I came to get him, he jumped all over me. He licked my face, he led me to his leash, he jumped into the backseat and stuck his head on the center console to be pet as I'd drive. He sniffed every corner, every other dog, peed on every single thing possible.
  9. He was such a funny and weird creature. I was constantly surprised by him. He was terrified of lizzards, but friendly with deer. One morning, he thought he was a horse.
  10. That year was spent between my parents' house and Cedars Sinai. But for an hour a day, all I thought about was Lassie.
  11. When my parents went into remission, I left Los Angeles, traveled for a year, and eventually moved away. I hardly came home, and hardly saw Lassie.
  12. When I moved back to Los Angeles, and settled across town from my grandparents, and Lassie, I moved in with roommates (@frooozan) and their dogs. They became the dogs in my life.
  13. Last month, my mum told me that Lassie was sick. Last night, she told me it had gotten bad.
  14. When I got to my grandparents' house, Lassie was outside, in a corner of their patio, and couldn't stand up. When I sat down next to him, and started to pet him, he put his head on my lap, and though struggling to breathe, fell asleep.
  15. We stayed out there like that all night.
  16. This morning, Lassie passed away. I will remember how my grandmother said it, in Farsi, "Khodesh Raft," which means that he died, but literally translates to "His soul left his body."
  17. I am immeasurably sad. I'm surprised how sad. I guess I loved him more than I knew I did.
  18. It's strange that this weird animal chose to love and be loved by me. And that I feel this way right now. My chest hurts.
  19. If List App were a portal to the k-9 afterlife I'd tell Lassie how cool I thought he was, even though he peed on literally everything, including me.