Death of a Dog

He woke up pre-madrugada and found his dog, dead. “Hana!” Bent down, spilling coffee, checking for sure. Held a piece of broken mirror near her dry nostrils. Gone dog. “Hana…” Slobbering, keening, hugging her scrawny carcass, he decided to enwrap her (he could barely look at her) in an unwearably ugly teal sweater his mother had given him. I wore it not once. Knowing he had to finish this before his wife woke, he carried her to the northeastern edge of the yard where, through some 30 years, other interments had concealed other pets: the rabbit (Lenny), the hamsters who somehow chewed each other’s heads off one night, and an unsurprisingly named pair of quail. He heard the garbage truck as he worked. Bits of magenta from the top edge of the sunrise. He dug until he could break roots nor rocks — what was that thick, chthonic odor rolling up? — wow — and with care laid the remains of his dog down in the hole, covering her up with sweeps of his forearms and hands, patting the ground with his weight, adding leaves and pine straw. No last words.

 

short-haired Dal-Lab mix

“A bed full of eye-lashes”

when she slept with you

 

(c) 2017 Thomas N. Dennis

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