When Tess, the dog, left us this week, she made a small mess of our hearts. We woke up to her absence that morning. We just didn't think she would be in transition between two places.

Tesseract Lightfoot. "Tesseract" from Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time, and "Lightfoot" from the book Cold Sassy Tree. The Wrinkle is what a Tesseract is, where two pieces of time fold in on each other and at that fold, time travel happens.

That's how it is with dogs, I've decided. They connect us, in a small way, to what's important. Companionship, and relationships, loyalty, all the things that a good dog, in a small way, will provide.

Lightfoot was the young girl in Cold Sassy Tree who, though desired, couldn't be known... The boy, from whose eyes the story was told, fell in love with her and yet she couldn't be his, due to his shyness and the cultural inacceptance of her station compared to his.

Danny Blaise named Tess. We wanted names from books, and these were two faves 12 years ago. I don't think I had any idea that the dog we named after a Tesseract would lay on the shore of Wolf Creek as Melinda ran for help after my accident. My own tesseract of sorts, the wrinkle where two times touched. It was a bit ironic, carrying her up the hill from where she lay unable to move last Friday. I was very out of breath when I got her up the hill, my breath a fog in the cold morning air. She had apparently spent the night there.

So in my way, I paid her back for being near me in my duress. There it was again though. The small thing a dog showed me about what to do when a friend falls. You sit by them and don't say anything. Many people did that for me in the hospital. Now I know what it is to really visit someone. Just be. There.

Love is all about loss. I'll never get used to it. Maybe in some small way, it gets easier as time goes on. I don't know, I'm only 50. Lots of time down the road, you just never know what you might wake up to some day. Which is a good thing, after all. Where would hope be with too much knowledge?