That of the Past

by Ellisa Finnell

     The old hound hollered loudly waking the whole house. Jamie was the first one to find him. He too began screaming. For the poor old hound had finally met his maker after 13 long years. He wasnt quite done fighting yet. Ma and Pop came a fumbling down those worn out stairs. I was the last one to get there.

     It was heartbreaking to see poor ole Skipper just laying there, loudly whimpering. Jamie sat with Skips head in his lap. Skips eyes were glossy; it looked like he was crying. Pop had run to phone the doctor, but Ma just stood there staring at Skip, softly stroking Jamies hair. Jamie was blubbering he had snot running down his face taking hysterical breaths.

     Skipper was are one and only dog, we had him are entire lives and we all knew this was the end. It was all so surreal I didnt know what to do or even what to think. Skip walked us to school every day and was there waiting for us when we got out. He went everywhere with Jamie and I. Everything Id ever done with him was flashing through my head.

     I stood there frozen watching the chaos unfold in front of my eyes. At some point I found myself laying next to Skipper. Pop was yelling on the phone. He came in moments later telling us everything would be okay the doctor was on his way. But I knew he was lying. Skip was just as much Pops dog as he was mine and Jamies. Skipper used to come with us down by the creek. Where we would fish for hours, anytime we got a bite Skipper would start barking. When we finally got the fish ashore a low growl would slowly grow in Skips throat. Jamie and I would laugh so hard.

     Staring into Skips eyes I could tell even he knew it was the end. He seemed to give me this look that said he was okay with it. He snuggled his head deep into Jamies lap. While I just laid right next to him petting his long brown hair, intertwining it between my fingers, tears silently streaming down my face. Pop never cried, but I could see the pain behind his tuff blue eyes. He brought the blue quilt over, his favorite blanket over, the one Jamie and I werent even allowed to touch, and softly laid it over Skipper and me. Right then something overwhelmed me about my Father, a true feeling of love and respect. Pop always being so stern it was the first time Id seen his soft side. It overwhelmed me great deal and only made me cry more. In that moment, for the first time in my entire short life I worshipped my Father.

     We all huddled around Skip for his last few hours. My Mother sang soft lullabies, while Jamie rambled on about how much he loved Skip, how he was the best dog, his best friend, and more. I didnt speak a word until I knew he wouldnt last longer, I desperately felt the need to let him know one more time. I bent in close laying my head on his chest, and whispered to him I love you boy. I lay like that until his last breath.

     Pop was the one to snap us all back into reality, first by slowly pulling Jamie into his arms and carrying him up to bed. Ma silently kissed mine and Skippers head and followed Pop upstairs. I pulled my head up looking at Skip, his eyes were shut I covered his body with Pops blanket. He looked at peace he had suffered these past two years. I would go on to miss him my entire life.

     I never wanted another dog. But as I grew older and had my own kids I found myself wanting them to have the same companionship. I knew it would end in heartbreak. We all grew to understand that; with age. But those were the best years of my life, and ole Skip was in all my greatest memories. I wanted my kids to experience it. They named their pup Trigger.

          The End

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