My mother had to put down her dog tonight. She had a German Shepherd and the dog was sickly for a while — among other things, it developed epilepsy and had an eye condition. And then for whatever reason, its health went downhill quickly in the past month or so. I don't know if whatever was afflicting the dog was treatable in any way, but I don't think my mother wanted to watch the dog suffer even more. Anyway, personally, I'm not too broken up about this because it's a long time coming (I don't think my mother wanted to deal with the epilepsy at first) and she got the dog only a year or two before I left for college, so I never really got attached to it.

I got the news about the dog from my sister, who is arguably much closer to our mother than me or our brother. She said our mother was too upset to talk to anyone else right now, which is okay with me because I've never been been comfortable around my mother when she is genuinely sad. I know my mother will talk to me about it when she's ready, and I will do my best to be sympathetic.

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So that's that, right? Nope, naturally, my brother, who is kind of a prick, has been harassing me tonight to go home to keep our mother company. (I live 3.5 hours from our mother, he lives across the country.) In theory, that's thoughtful, but based on previous experience, I know our mother is the kind of person who prefers to grieve alone. I think if I were to spend the weekend with her it would be awkward for both of us. My sister even asked our mother if she wanted her to spend the night, and our mother declined. At any rate, it's not just that my brother proposed this, but the way he approached me was rather rude — he's left me a voicemail and a Facebook message that pretty much say the same thing: you should go home this weekend. Not would you mind? or did you hear the news?, but you should go home. I told my sister about our brother's proposal, and she got angry and said she would try to talk some sense into him. I can only hope.