I have got to stop asking after people, or rather, their pets.
When I first met my friend Eric I was introduced to his adorable basset hound, Molly. I saw him about two weeks later and asked how Molly was doing. "She died" was the response I got. Unbeknownst to me the dog was 14 and in failing health. Soon after he got a new dog, another basset hound.
I was at his house for a BBQ today and asked his parents why they did not bring along their Ben, their basset hound. His mother's reply "Ben died two weeks ago". I said I was sorry to hear that and mentally slapped myself for asking after Ben and at the same time thinking "How could this happen to me twice...and with the same family?"
The Peanut Gallery
Meanwhile my friend, K, pipes up from the background "That's why I told you that my dog had recently died. To prevent the awkwardness when you asked how the dog was doing" (to be fair her dog had been having some health issues for a while and was elderly in dog years)].