Well, it happened fast. My mom sent me an ad for some puppies my brother’s old science teacher was selling. It was a litter of nine, part Border Collie, part Australian Shepherd, and part Blue Heeler. They were raised around kids on the side of Mt. Si. Oh geez, they were cute! Then my mom got one, named him Jack, and spun a vision of us raising sibling puppies out at the farm all summer. So I went to look at them. Uh-oh. I asked my landlords what they thought, and even though I live in an apartment that doesn’t even allow goldfish, they said yes. “You’re in love,” she told me, and I couldn’t deny it. They offered me an old dog crate and some fencing. Their ten year old promptly made a robot dog out of his lego.
That afternoon, I brought a puppy home. Now he is sleeping on the hot-pink acrylic baby blanket my grandmother made me. I haven’t found a name for him yet. I feel like I know his name, but I don’t know the word for it.
This is what my dog is like: sleek blackness of creatures that swim and hunt at night, and the moon on pale stones, a phosphorescent wake. His feet and nose are speckled like river stones, or trout, and the tip of his tail is a white-dipped flash. He sometimes nurses in his sleep, with his tongue out, and he gets the hiccups. He is both delicate and surging, and prefers to sleep just slightly touching my foot. How do you say, in one word, the name for all that?