Pets Are Family Too



I remember growing up on East Outer Drive in Detroit. As a child I was afraid of dogs. Big dogs, little dogs it didn’t matter. I was terrified.   Dogs on a leash, I liked.  One day my dad came home with a dog, his name was Victor.  You may recall he was my inspiration to become a writer. I wrote my first poem about Victor in kindergarten after he ran away.

Our next dog was Corky.  I named him.  He was a cocker spaniel and poodle mix.  He was a great dog.  He would always look out of the window and wait for us to come home from school.  That was the benefit of going to school across the street from our home.  We didn’t have to walk far.


Corky was a playful dog. He loved to run and play. He would even travel with us on our visits to Delaware.  Corky was a loyal pet.  One day Corky was so excited to see Ciscely and I walking home from school, that he darted out of the door and was hit by a car.  Seeing Corky lying in the middle of the road was heartbreaking.  Thank God he survived. I would have been traumatized if he would have died that day.

Corky was in our lives all through high school and college.  I knew Corky was getting older and he couldn’t eat much anymore.  He would vomit and something wasn’t right.  My daddy took Corky to the vet.  This is the part where things gets fuzzy or maybe I was in denial.  I was preparing to go off to Michigan State and hated saying goodbye to Corky.

I missed him so much.  In fact I came home pretty often to visit my family on the weekends.  My mother told me that Corky had cancer. I’m not sure that surgery was even an option. What I do remember is that he could barely jump on the bed. He ate hardly anything and he slept a lot.

Corky was a member of our family. He made us laugh and loved playing in the snow.  I never said goodbye to Corky because I just knew I would see him again.  My parents were being very vague when I called on the phone.  Something wasn’t right and I didn’t hear Corky barking in the background.  In my heart I knew that he was gone.  But it was finals week and my parents didn’t tell me.

My children will not grow up with a pet.  They won’t know the love that a family has for their pet.  When you lose a pet you lose a piece of your heart.  If you love animals consider going to a shelter and rescue a pet.  I would if I could.

By the way I am still afraid of cats.


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