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As I type this, my dog’s body is lying on the floor of my laundry room wrapped in a blanket.

Tia died Saturday night after my vet’s office closed for the weekend. I am waiting for it to open so I can bring her there. I live in a condo. There is nowhere to bury her.

Is there a place to bury my deflated heart?

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I felt like I was playing at being an adult when I adopted Tia and her brother Tai in 2004. I had just bought my first house in West Seattle and moved in with my boyfriend. The sky was the limit for housing prices. My mortgage payments and repair bills on a 1918 structure were overwhelming. I packed a sack lunch each day, shopped at Home Depot each weekend and played a shell game with utility bills each month.

I suspect I’m not the only woman who sometimes felt afraid to go back to a dark house at the end of the day. My boyfriend was a Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter who wrote about the Seattle Sonics, covering 41 away games a year. Daylight is scarce during the NBA season.

Home ownership raised other scary questions. Did I want to give up the single life and get married (and have children)? Did owning a house mean I would be trapped at my job in Seattle and give up my other dreams?

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