We had a dog. She was my mom’s shadow. I tormented the poor thing. If she could have gotten hold of me, I’m sure she would have torn me apart. I was just plain mean to her. The morning my mom passed away I remember her sitting beside me, something she never voluntarily would ever do. I saw her viciousness while I made her angry, I knew the growl, the the look she had and her posture.
I was the only one home one night, a Sunday. My parents bowled and everyone else had things to do. My bedroom was downstairs. This bedroom had a door that went outside. I liked it because I could smoke without smelling up the house. I was 14 I think, I wasn’t allowed to smoke. It was winter, back when we use to get snow in Ohio. I sat on my bed with door open, having a smoke. That’s when our dog started this vicious growl with one bark. I flipped the cig out the door and ran upstairs. She had the look that I’ve only seen when I tormented her. She was staring out the back sliding glass door. Her hair was up and she had her teeth out. When I got around the kitchen table to her she let loose a ferocious attack at the glass door. I saw a figure out there so I opened the door for her. She went jumping out onto the patio, trying to get out faster than I could open the door. I flipped the porch light on and there wasn’t anyone. There wasn’t any tracks in the snow, either. I know I saw a man in Carhartt bibs and a blue and white flannel shirt beside the picnic table. Our dog saw it, she didn’t just bark and growl for no reason. She was a quiet dog. I locked all the doors and turned on all the outside lights. We didn’t do that often in the small town we grew up in. I remember my parents coming home and asking me why all the doors are locked and lights on. I know what I saw, our dog saw it too. That week I had caught the flu so bad I missed school. I remember waking up and I had slept through the blizzard of 1977.