Yesterday on my walk home from the gym, in quasi-rain, I met a 13-year-old dog named Sheba. I asked her lady-companion if I could say hello, and when she said of course, I did so and commenced gentle smooshing. I noticed a red smudge on Sheba’s nose and then realized the red smudge WAS her nose — or where her nose used to be. I asked the woman what happened, and she said it was cancer. She said Sheba also had vaginal cancer. I bent down and hugged Sheba even more. The woman said, with a tiny smile, “She’s a mess, but she’s my mess.” I told Sheba she was beautiful, thanked the two of them for sharing a part of their day, and walked away … my own mess.