Three generations of my (parents’) pets: Easy-bull mastiff-6, Mackenzie-black lab-11, Jasmine-calico-19. Linglestown PA.

Easy is a good ol’ boy, loyal to dad and loving to all of us— his name indicative of his temperament. I could sit for hours with him as my foot rest massaging his back with my toes or grabbing him behind his boxy jaw and kissing him between the brows.

Kenzie delivered our paper from the end of the drive to our feet every morning for 11 years. I remember when she was just a puppy and could only drag the Sunday paper up with her head tilted drastically to one side. She died this summer but her hair still lines the corners of the walls and the crease where the blanket meets the couch cushions.

Jasmine grew up a hermit, hiding from all company, snuggling only with the voices she recognized from our immediate family. Now she’s grown deaf and talkative and demanding of attention in her more geriatric days, waltzing through the house ruling the domain. I’ve had her more of my life than I have not.