The Writers Voice
The World's Favourite Literary Website



Dwyer Leahy Vessey

You came to us in a blur of excitement and puppy smells – cinnamon copper red and wriggling with too much love to hold in your little body. We tossed names around like the tennis balls we threw to you for hours. Not one was right until one day in the sun you scampered by in a blaze of glory, and there you were – Penfold Mays Golden Blaze.

You tumbled into our mixed half-family lives and became the one missing ingredient that blended us whole. You were the only one that understood our teenage girl, that could match the energy of our pre-teen boy, and be our toddler’s guide for her first steps. We had come together to be a family, but until you came we had not blended as one. Sacred traditions like going to Camp on the lake were the older kids’ memories – and they were sometimes too precious to share with new ones, new children.

We took you to Camp that first time, and once you saw the long dock, the light on the water, the stillness, the peace of it all – you ran straight to that stillness and jumped, causing ripples that forever changed us all. Each year we would bring you to Camp and you would smell the pine-tree tunnel and know that in mere moments you would be free to streak down the dock ablaze in your glory and jump into the stillness to make ripples. At the end of the week we would pull you out of the water, exhausted, and leaner, your golden-red coat tangled with swirling water knots. When there was a ban on dogs at Camp, you were the one exception. No one who had seen your love for Camp could ever deny you that moment when you curled your front paws over the edge of the dock and looked back; waiting for those two wonderful words to be said. “Blaze! Jump!” and you would fling yourself into the sky, into the water, into our hearts.

When your muzzle was tinged with white, you’d still play ball for hours in the water – stumbling onto the dock, staggering a little, you would drop the ball and shake. Sometimes the ball would fall back into the water – and there you would go again – into the water…always into the water.

When your hips were old before your spirit, we had to limit the number of times we would throw the ball into the lake. After three times, you would have to rest…and you would quietly nudge the ball off the dock with your nose and watch until it had drifted out from the dock just enough for you to get up, look at us with resigned exasperation as if to say “well someone has to get it” and you would jump.

Camp traditions now grew to include watching over sleeping toddlers in the hammock, licking marshmallow sticky baby fingers, sneaking dropped hamburgers under the picnic table, and the towing of the newest of us in her yellow life jacket as she gleefully wrapped her “pimmers” in your fur and went for yet another swim with Blaze.

You became our blending – our communality – loved by all of us, you knew that each of us loved you best and needed you more than any of us. You made our family whole, and true, and real. We hold you forever in our hearts and see you always, running for the water, always the water – to jump once again into the stillness and make ripples that go on forever.

July 22, 1993 – February 16, 2008

Critique this work

Click on the book to leave a comment about this work

All Authors (hi-speed)    All Authors (dialup)    Children    Columnists    Contact    Drama    Fiction    Grammar    Guest Book    Home    Humour    Links    Narratives    Novels    Poems    Published Authors    Reviews    September 11    Short Stories    Teen Writings    Submission Guidelines

Be sure to have a look at our Discussion Forum today to see what's
happening on The World's Favourite Literary Website.