a low growl emerged from my dog’s long muzzle. then it lunged and snapped at my brother.
this behavior truly surprised me, for this dog is well over fourteen and as never done more than lay on the back step, serving more as a doormat than a pet. as a matter of fact, the only true pet-like qualities this animal had were: i could pet it, it liked me alright, it ate food, and the little kittens were terrified of it (except the deaf one).
my father shouted about the dog going crazy. he started waving his dry, spongy hands all about in the air, hootin’ and hollerin’ at this ancient coonhound. he then began jumping at her and taunting her with small slaps and prods, trying to get her to snap again.
of course, once she had enough, she tried to get away, but my father was, again, smarter than a dog.
seeing no escape, she began to growl.
in all my life, i have never heard her growl save once. she had just given birth to twelve tiny puppies. the we brought the father in to look at them, but as soon as she saw him, she instantly began biting and growling and barking at this intruding male. needless to say, he didn’t get to see the kids ‘till they were older.
this prompted my father to smack her more, causing her to leap at him. now, at this point, the whole situation became rather comical. she is a large blue tick hound, and she was latched on to my father’s left arm. he was flailing it about, and she was simply flopping to and fro in the air as my father tried to beat her off of him. suddenly, the situation became about as funny as a confused, stuttering, thirteen-year-old me trying to ask my first major crush out on a date—not very.
my father pulled a full-sized pump-action shotgun out of his pocket (don’t ask me how he hid it there). he slung the barrel downwards, effectively cocking the weapon, and blew a hole in the side of the old dog. her hind legs collapsed under her weight. her hips didn’t support her at all—they were in fragments driven into her intestines.
my father then said, “she is wild, and she has to be put down,” or something along those lines. he loaded the gun with a slug, cocked it, and pressed it against her temple as she tried to crawl away with her pathetic front paws. his owner has pushed off.
i predicted the bang. i envisioned a small pop along with a cute flash of smoke. god, i was wrong.
an earth-shattering roar ripped through the air as the gun lurched backwards. it shook me and knocked me to the ground—i was eye level with her face as i saw the bullet slow-motion its way into her thick skull, ripping it apart like a child into a ripe melon. the pressure forced her head outward. i could see her temple begin to expand, more and more until it simply burst, splattering brain matter and memories of playing fetch all over my face. she lay there, head split open by a force which never should have been created.
it had to be done. she had gone crazy, loco, unstable. she was a danger to everyone.
but the role had been forced upon her by my father.
i told my folks that i was okay, and i agreed that it was for the best. i felt ashley’s warm hand on my shoulder, but i shrank away from it.
i walked through my backyard to the door when i collapsed.
my knees jerked up to my chin and my arms wrapped themselves around my knees like chains around a log. my entire body convulsed with tears, pitiful moans, dog-like whimpers, and coughs that sounded of dirt being deposited onto a pauper’s body. i had never felt so weak.
i opened my eyes. 6:30am. shit, i’m late.