My Life in Dog Years

by Gary Paulsen

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What is Caesar grieving, and how does he express his sorrow in My Life in Dog Years?

In My Life in Dog Years, Caesar is grieving because he misses his owner. His owner left him at Gary's house because he can no longer keep him. The Great Dane expresses his sorrow by not eating anything for several days.

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A man has just dropped off his Great Dane Caesar at Gary's door. Apparently, he can no longer keep him. He's heading off to Hawaii for a career change and needs to find a loving home for his dog.

After a brief conversation with Gary, the man departs very quickly, leaving poor old Caesar behind. Straight away, it's patently obvious to Gary that Caesar's not very happy.

As he pushes the drapes aside and watches his master depart, Caesar lets out a sound that Gary describes as “a cross between the closing whistle of a major auto plant” and how he imagines the fearsome Hound of the Baskervilles in the famous Sherlock Holmes story would sound.

Caesar then moves to the front door and just sits there, staring at it, pining for his master. The poor dog is grieving, heartbroken at his sudden loss, and lies down all day with his nose pointed to the door, waiting for his owner to come back.

Another sign of Caesar's despondency is his complete lack of appetite. Although he can drink a little bit of water, he eats nothing, no matter what Gary puts in front of him. By the third day, Gary is so worried by Caesar's behavior that he decides to call a vet.

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