Dog Days

ben

Always dogs. His name is Ben. He’s a Brittany Spaniel, one-year old. My father adopted him, but he was a hurricane.

He’s not my dog. Sometimes I take him down to the park. The city waters the grass early in the morning enough to seep down past the roots. It’s still dewy and soft along the field when we walk through and circle for another pass. I coach him to follow, to sit when I stop, to come when I call. It’s so hot, August hot, that he stretches out in the clover to cool off when we pass under the shade of the walnut tree.

He’s not my dog. Sometimes I take him out to let him see ducks floating along the canal. He wades in and practices his dog paddle. Two canoes come upon us, in the shade of the lower canal, and he swims out to investigate. The women offer him tennis balls that were floating by, but he’s only interested in the canoes and the paddles. I thank them and slip the wet balls into the game pocket of my vest for later. There is pheasant scent and squirrel, vole and snake, much to be studied on for a young dog. Fall is coming.

 

Author: Kim K. McCrea

KKim K. McCrea worked as a System Analyst for 25 years building out the internet of things before returning to letters in 2017. Kim won the Treefort Wild West Writing Prize, was runner up in Cutbank short prose contest, and named a finalist in Proximity Magazine's Essay Prize and the Barry Lopez Creative Nonfiction Contest. Her work appears in Cutbank, Tishman Review, Thoughtfuldog, and Watershed Review. Kim lives in Eugene, Oregon, where she wrangles her Labrador in the rain.

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