I am taking a Creative Nonfiction Workshop. The prompt was “1st Pet”. After 15 minutes and workshop critique, this is the result:
Provo Goliath Chaser
Ty ate chocolate and I thought it was ok until my neighbors told me chocolate poisons dogs. We lived in Provo, Utah nestled in a circle of homes facing the Wasatch Front mountain range. My brothers and I in our teens took Ty in from our neighbors who moved. When he realized I’d be the one to actually feed him, our chocolate colored curly-haired cockapoo stuck to me more tightly.
He guarded our circle but it was more of a goliath show. He took on dogs three times his size and chased mailmen who shrugged him off like a shaggy ball of carpet. It took convincing for my grandparents to approve his stay with us. They owned the house and the muddied carpets Ty trampled. Though, when they realized he’d keep out the deer from grandma’s flower garden, we all settled in nicely.
Later I left for college and lived abroad. A couple years passed before I returned. Mom moved. I looked forward to seeing Ty who had slept near my side when I was sick and kept me constantly playing.
Mom stood in the entry to the kitchen of a house I’d lived in for only a few hours. When I asked about Ty she didn’t respond. My younger brother stepped into the entry next to her interjecting, “He’s dead!”
They hadn’t told me and both their stories were different. Mom’s story involved a nibbed child and an angry father. My brother’s was about moving to a house that didn’t allow pets. No one wanted to discuss it further and I suppose the truth lie somewhere in between.
Our goliath chaser was gone, though, and I didn’t get to say goodbye.
January 16, 2015