Serial Loss: Writing 101

Writing 101: day 4
Today I am writing about a loss: something or someone that was part of my life that is not anymore. One of my earliest and most significant losses was the loss of my first dog. His name was Bouvier, but we called him Boot-wa. It was a cold, snowy night in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The snow was about one foot deep and very fluffy. Outside was a winter wonderland for children to play in. There would definitely be no school the next day. I put on my coat, hat, gloves and boots and went outside through the automatic garage door to shovel my neighbor’s driveway; she was always good for a bunch of money after she had been drinking! My dog had been in the garage in his usual back corner, sleeping away.
The next part is difficult to write about. As the garage door was going down my dog must have slipped out into the snowy darkness. I had no idea. He was a white poodle; about 25 to 30 pounds in weight, and against the snow one would have never seen him in the darkness. When I returned home, I realized my dog was not in the garage. It was several hours later, as I had taken the opportunity to play in the snow. I by the time I got back and told my dad that the dog was nowhere to be found, it was too late. My sweet poodle had frozen to death, and we found him in the street covered in snow. I wondered why I had not looked back as I left the garage, earlier that night. I felt a heavy burden and a monstrously deep regret for being responsible for the death of my beloved canine.
Yes, I was but a child who made a mistake; but I still feel the pain, thinking about it, some forty years later. After that, I began taking in every stray dog I could find. My poor endured my version of repentance and accepted my strays as family. This really helped heal my pain. I am so grateful he understood.

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