On the late afternoon of July 3rd, 2016, my husband and I and our Golden Retriever, Apollo, were driving back from a day of kayaking. Apollo, exhausted from swimming and fetching sticks, rested his muzzle on my lap. When we were about 20 minutes from home, we got a call from our 18-year-old son, who told us that our house was on fire. As we got closer, we saw billowing brown smoke. We parked as close as we could, given that multiple fire trucks were blocking all the nearby streets.
In wet clothes and sandals, leashed dog in hand, we stood with the crowd, watching the flames engulf our home of 19 years. Our neighbors across the street invited us to stay with them for a couple of days, but— since Apollo didn’t get along with their cat—he was taken in by the parents of one of my son’s friends, who said their dog Cooper would be happy to host. As I passed them his leash, I realized that Apollo no longer had dog food, or even a food bowl.Tags: literatureessays