It was a perfect February day, unseasonably warm and sunny. I decided to take Bo for a walk around the block, just to get out of the house. HB was totally up for it, so I dressed her in her winter coat (it was warm for February, not balmy), and got Bo’s leash out. He responded immediately, tearing up and down the stairs to the front door, excited to be going outdoors. It took me some amount of time to get his leash on.
HB wanted to hold his leash as we were walking. I didn’t want her to, for fear that she wasn’t big enough at all of five years old. ‘I can do it, Daddy!’ she insisted. I finally relented, after listening hard for any other dogs out. Bo was never socially adapted — his idea of a good time was full combat with any dog big or small, instead of the more formal butt-sniffing-how-d’ya-do. I gave her the leash, making sure she was holding it so she could let go if Bo took off, and down the street we went.
Bo behaved himself, placidly walking down the sidewalk, his black nose leading him from bush to bush, HB proudly holding his leash. We rounded the corner at the halfway mark of our block, and… disaster. Two dogs in a fenced yard I had forgotten about started barking. In slow motion, I saw Bo’s muscles bunch under his shaggy coat, and then he sprang forward. HB took three steps, arm outstretched holding the leash, and then took flight, sailing five feet through the air before landing belly-first on the driveway of the dog owner’s driveway. She clung to the leash and was dragged fully fifteen feet before she let go, the shiiiiiikkkk of her jacket sliding on the cement the only sound I heard.
Putting the ‘good’ in Goodfather, one day at a time.
Bo was Socko’s dog.* It’s hard watching a member of the family get older, but it became clear over the last few weeks that he was suffering. My ex-wife met Socko, Bo and me at the Animal Hospital, and we had a sad reunion in which Bo was put to sleep. I cried with HB in the parking lot, holding her close, and she was five again with her face downcast as I treated her knees, saying, ‘I thought I could hold him, Daddy.’
It was hard coming home without Bo, and explaining to Panda that he would never be coming home again. This is her first experience with death, and we talked about how Bo is in doggie-Heaven now, a wide green lawn of forever.
*If you ever read this Socko, let me say again that I am truly sorry for your loss.