The pet who dies here is called Black Dog; little Benjamin, who senses that ""Black Dog has gone into the woods and died,"" is referred to--and addressed--as Youngest One; and that's indicative of the self-consciousness throughout. Benjamin, as the youngest, might be more closely attuned to Black Dog's feelings than the others--hence his hunch that she's gone off to die. But his sister is given to say solemnly, ""Only the youngest one could still talk to her."" What happens in the course of many texty pages is the family's acceptance of Benjamin's hunch--sealed by the dreams each of them has about Black Dog, dreams in which she says goodbye to each in an appropriate way. And: ""Benjamin did not say anything more about Black Dog after that."" An earnest attempt to concretize the ineffable that shows its hand too plainly.