It's like picking a scab.

The one book in First Second's upcoming fall line that was planning on NOT reading was Laika. Not because it didn't look good or because I wasn't interested, but because HELLO:

A) It's a book with a dog on the cover, and we all know what that usually means.

B) It's a book with a dog on the cover based on a true story I'm familiar with, and it ain't a happy one.

C) I usually avoid books that I know will wreck me.

So imagine my dismay when I opened a package yesterday and found myself face-to-face with Laika.

I didn't mean to open it. But, of course, my curiosity (and the pretty, pretty cover) got the better of me. I flipped to the end, because, well, I wanted to see how Nick Abadzis dealt with... YOU KNOW. 

I wimped out. I did, though, read this quote:

Work with animals is a source of suffering to all of us. We treat them like babies who cannot speak.

The more time passes, the more I'm sorry about it. We did not learn enough from the mission to justify the death of the dog.

-- Oleg Georgivitch Gazenko, 1998

Aw, hell. Just typing it out got me going again.

The thing is, I still haven't put the book aside. I keep picking it up and flipping through it, looking at the pictures and occasionally daring myself to read some of the text. This morning, I read the first twenty or so pages. And now I'm kind of hooked, dammit.