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My Father’s Dogs, A Rememberance

The first, and one of the only, times I ever saw my father cry was after our Brittney Spaniel Phil disappeared. I was 13.  The dog had been in my father’s truck on a warm autumn day and he’d gone into a Chinese restaurant for lunch.  It had no windows, or none that allowed a vantage of the truck anyway, and when my father came out, the dog was gone.  Stolen my Dad surmised, or perhaps run off, escaped out the slightly opened window. The afternoon I saw him crying was much like the afternoon the dog had gone missing some two weeks earlier: a bluebird day with not a cloud in sight.  I walked up from our small barn towards the house, newly fallen leaves rustling beneath my feet, and there he was by the side of our house, sobbing.  It stuck me that this was a strange place to break down.  Not out in the woods, or in the privacy of his study, but awkwardly along one side of our house, near the corner.  A sort of in between place, a no man’s land of our domestic landscape.  But maybe that was the point.