My first pet was not a dog, he was a Canine.
He wandered into the yard one day as if he belonged there.
Though I was taught to be stray-animal-shy, I attacked him.
He was a Cocker Spaniel.
He was collarless and his fur was matted.
He had a white stripe on his chest.
He was malnourished and mangy.
He was a miracle.
My Mom placed an ad in the newspaper along with his picture but no one responded.
I was extatic no one did.
We named him Smokey .
Smokeys place was in the basement and I don’t think I’ll ever really know why.
The basement was dark and ugly.
We laid blankets down for him and there at the end of a chain bound to the staircase is where he slept.
We loved him.
I hope he knew that.
Smokey was really loyal but fucking crazy and our yard wasn’t fenced-in, so at-all times when he was outside, he had to be chained.
As a kid I couldn’t really handle excitement and would turn dense instantly.
One day, eager to play as I was taking Smokey outside, his leash slipped from my filthy hand.
He was so fucking wild.
I remember it was warm and the sky was blue.
I was so close when the car bashed him.
Maybe if I had more time I coulda caught him.
The driver never stopped.
My Dad stepped into that busy street like he was invincible and retrieved Smokey.
I watched Smokey’s backyard grave being made as he lay at my side.