I Loved the Dog So Much
I loved the dog so much. So, I decided that I needed to have it surgically implanted into my body. And I called the surgeon.
He was a short and astute doctor with a deep, trustworthy voice.
“You have too many internal organs,” he told me. “We’ll have to remove some in order to fit the dog in. No way the dog’ll fit otherwise.”
We agreed to remove all the unnecessary organs first. “You have two kidneys, two lungs, so one of each can go. I can remove one of your eyes just so you feel like you’re all in.”
I said take it all. The dog wasn’t too big anyhow. I imagined it would fit in my rib cage with a little room left for it to waggle its tail. “Make sure you leave room for it to waggle its tail,” I told the surgeon.
The surgeon did not share my optimism. “We’ll need to run valves through your abdomen for oxygen and sewage. The more I think about it, this is sort of like when they sent that dog to outer space,” he told me. “Except in this situation the dog will most definitely die instants after the surgery is complete.”
I asked him if he thought I should get the local university involved. At the time I thought this would be the kind of thing that would attract a young academic. Perhaps I was putting too much faith in the surgeon. The surgeon slept at my house that night. He said we would start in the morning.
He woke me up that night with a new plan. “We’ve been thinking about this all wrong,” he told me. “We have to remove all the organs, put the dog in and then figure out how to put the organs in, one by one like a puzzle. At that point we could even begin connecting the dog to your body so it could breathe with your lung and use your bladder.”
I thought about it for a moment in bed. “I worry we might suffocate the poor thing in the process of doing this. Plus, I believe you’re implying that through this surgery I might be able to hear the dog’s thoughts which was never my intention.”
“That’s impossible,” said the surgeon. “I’m only trying to fulfill your vision within the limits of my understanding of human anatomy.” The project was clearly wearing on him, though he seemed to be more saddened than upset. In the darkness he looked like a pale, bitter shadow.
“I’ll go get the dog,” I said. “The dog is the whole reason we’re doing this. Let me just put on my slippers.”
The surgeon sat on my bed. Thoughts flew through him the way that I’ve always imagined a computer thinking. A ticker tape of ideas fell from his mouth. “We could remove all your intestines except what’s absolutely essential. We could halve the size of your stomach, bladder, lung, and cut out all but a thumbnail-sized section of your liver. I’ve heard of people living with less. Imagine being able to live on an organ no bigger than the hard nail on your thumb,” said the surgeon.
I looked at my own finger. “The human body is a marvelous invention,” I told him.
The doctor came back to his senses after a glass of water. He played with the dog a while. “This is really a great dog,” he told me.
I said it was the whole reason for the project. I told him I was putting my body on the line.
The next morning, he cut me open in my living room. This is the only part I was unconscious for, so I only know what he told me.