Dead Dogs

Sam DeLeo

© Copyright 2021 by Sam DeLeo

Image by Jana from Pixabay
Image by Jana from Pixabay

When I was young, my first stepfather returned from a trip to the countryside with bad news. He was driving down a dirt road when our Siberian Husky jumped out of our GMC Jimmy and died under its wheels. He never learned what made the dog jump.

He was a man who engaged in combat during two tours in Vietnam as a Gunnery Sergeant. But how he babied that dog. Wordless and oblivious to my mother and me, he pulled the dog to him on the living room floor every night and stroked its neck while watching sports on TV.

I could tell he wanted to weep the afternoon it happened. He leaned into his fists on top of our strafed wooden dining table. But that part of him was gone.

He and my mother divorced a few years after this. I donít know where he lives now. Decades later, I have a beloved wife but no dog. And still, I canít help feeling this strange calling exists in each of us to not only defend what we love, but also sometimes, to surrender, to jump.

Sam DeLeoís writing has appeared in Glass Mountain, Hobart, Paste Magazine, Culture Matters, and the London-based fiction magazine Talking Soup, among others. He currently lives in Denver.

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