Your first love
Becky, don’t read this.
My first love was a dog named Major. He was a German Shepherd, and I was five years old. He was quite simply the most beautiful creature to walk the face of the earth. (Yes, he was even more beautiful than Ryan Reynolds.) He was the first dog my family had during my lifetime. We lived in North Carolina at the time. I don’t remember how we came to be owned by him, but we also had two cats at the time: Sheba, a seal point Siamese; and George, a white Persian. They were none too pleased to share the house with a big hairy dog, and I remember Major got his nose bloodied once because he wanted to play and one of the cats, I don’t remember which, was having none of it.
The other thing I remember about Major, besides his beauty, was his penchant for lying in a lounge chair in the backyard and trying to catch bees. I think, on one occasion, he might have succeeded.
The last thing I remember about Major was seeing him wrapped in a bedsheet, his hind feet sticking out, just before my father lowered him into the ground. He’d jumped the fence and been hit by a truck. I watched his burial from a distance, and I don’t remember, as much as I try, how I felt at the time. I don’t remember if I cried, if I was bewildered, if anyone explained it to me. I was five. I wonder now if the details I recall are things that actually happened, or if they’re a shorthand my memory has expanded into substitutions for the real thing. (Did he ever catch one of those bees? Was it a truck that hit him, or just a car?)
All I know is it was the first time I learned that the things you love will leave you.