When I want the feeling of living in a small, compact body and looking out of eyes only a few feet above the ground, I think of that dog, just like I play David Bowie to remember high school and the Grateful Dead to access college. I don't want to be short or six years old or brimming with a terror he could sniff, so I don't think of him often.
Some people show up for the big, tedious transitions: not the parties, weddings, bat mitzvahs and fortieth birthdays, but the lugging of boxes, the attaching of U-Haul trailers to burdened vehicles, the renting and using of post-hole diggers.
"Breathe, breathe," his voice echoed as I went about my post-boxing life, hands untaped and no justification for punching anything. He always spoke quietly, like a coach strategizing with his players when he doesn't want the opposition to hear.