There Is No Dog
How we cite our quotes:
Until the poker game, he had been quite a feisty little soul, falling upon food each time with a glorious bleat of joy. He was a different Eck now that his life had been truncated, and who could blame him? Each meal he ate was one closer to his last. This was not an easy concept to swallow. Being mortal, he would, of course, have died eventually, but now he knew exactly when, and why, and (to an unpleasant extent) how. Now every tick of the clock brought him closer to oblivion. (20.41)
Poor Eck. The clock is literally ticking on his life, and it's changed him. Awareness of his mortality has made him into an entirely different creature—a mortal one. Is it better for us to go around acting as though we're immortal?
He [Bob] wasn't thinking of forever, of growing old with Lucy as his wife, sitting together on a bench in some windswept seaside town, her elderly swollen ankles in stout black shoes, distended knuckles resting on arthritic knees. Such visions meant nothing to him because he would always be exactly as he was now, despite the passage of time. His humans would change, grow old and die, disappear from earth and be forgotten, while he went on the same. (26.98)
We guess that just like humans freak out about immortals, immortals just don't get the way that mortals see "forever." No wonder that Lucy and Bob are doomed. This is a pretty major issue to disagree about.
They ate in silence. Eck had stopped begging at the table for scraps; even his insatiable hunger seemed to have waned. Hunger was just another pain he endured now as evidence that he was still alive—along with despair. If he starved, well, maybe it wasn't the worst way to die. ( 28.7)
Suffering is such a huge part of being mortal that it signifies life for Eck. Gee, that's a little depressing. Why not happiness or joy?