People | Family | Generations

Mourning My Dad and the Dog He Never Wanted

If I could save her, I would. I needed to feel that it was in my power to save her, to save something. I didn’t need her to be uncomplicated. I didn’t need a good dog. I needed her.

I never wanted a dog. Or, I wanted one as a child, but only in the vague way that most children want something warm and soft and smaller than they are, something they can claim as their own—something they can name. I had lots of good names for a dog. But when I finally got a dog, the one thing I didn’t get to do was name her.