Niltiak Mucoy

FINAL DRAFT – PERSONAL MEMOIR

     Every kid should have a dog. Childhood can be rough; it is full of bruises and bumps. Circumstances often knock us off our feet and flat on our behinds. And nothing can fix that feeling like a loyal best friend: a dog.

     I will never forget the day that I met Polo. Nola, my step mom, had picked me up from school and we were driving to our house. She explained to me that one of her employees was moving and that she had to get rid of her dog. Nola was the general manager of all the Ruby Tuesdays in Southwest Missouri and Northern Arkansas. Summer, one of her managers had been promoted. The apartment she was moving to wouldn’t allow animals. So Polo, her golden retriever puppy, was moving in with us.

     We lived in the country at the time with our other dog Boo-Boo. Boo-Boo was conceived at the animal shelter by a chocolate lab and a dalmatian. He was certainly not supposed to exist so he was an accident, earning himself the name Boo-Boo. Boo-Boo was always a mellow dog, but he was the sweetest animal in the world. He could lie beside you for hours while you read and not move a muscle. Let’s just say, Boo-Boo and Polo were total opposites.

     When we arrived home Polo and Summer were playing in the yard. Summer would throw a stick and Polo would run to catch it. He would run right back to her feet. But when she reached down to grab the stick Polo would run away with it, just a few steps, and look back at her with excitement in his eyes saying, “Chase me, chase me.” She explained to me later, he was named Polo because life was his game.

     I will never forget how he looked prancing around with that stick in the yard. His paws were huge and so was his head. It weighed him down so much it looked as if he could topple over at any moment. His fur was strawberry blond and his big brown eyes were always curious and questioning. I couldn’t help but laugh at the clumsy puppy speeding away each time somebody grabbed for his stick. After playing a few hours Summer left. She cried as she held the big puppy in her arms for the last time. I was sad for her, but I couldn’t help being excited about my new puppy. That night we began a ritual, every other Saturday night, because I went to my dad’s every other weekend, Polo would get a bath. He loved the water, as golden retrievers often do, and he would splash around soaking everyone in the bathroom. We would then blow dry him so he’d be nice and fluffy and watch an old James Bond movie on Spike TV. We did this every other Saturday for years.

     Polo grew fast. We knew he would be big because of his giant paws and head. Before long Polo weighed over a hundred pounds, and he steadily gained five more every year due to his love of food, especially bacon. My sister and I would always insist on bacon for breakfast and we always made sure that there were leftovers.  We would take the leftovers out in the garage and say “Bacon!” in a tormenting tone. Polo would then spin in circles while he jumped around with his tongue hanging out and a wild look in his eyes. This would always result in an eruption of giggles from the feeders. We’d then toss Polo his piece of bacon, he never missed.  Then my sister would hold the enormous animal back while we gave Boo-Boo his piece.

     When I think about growing from the fourth grader with a new puppy into the young woman I am today I think about a lot of changes. When things were changing Polo was my constant. When I got in fights with my friends, when I broke my ankle, even when Boo-Boo passed, Polo was always there. When I was in the sixth grade and my first boyfriend dumped me, I thought my life was over. I remember that night my dad let Polo sleep in my bed. I held the enormous dog in my arms as I fell asleep. I remember I told him, “Polo, you are the only man for me.”

     When I was in the seventh grade my whole world shook. My dad announced to me that he and Nola were getting a divorce. I love Nola, she’d helped raise me, my dad and she had been married for nine years. I cried that night more than I had ever cried before. I told my dad I never wanted to see him again. But I couldn’t stay away. Nola had left Polo at his house; she said it wasn’t right to separate kids from their dog. I needed Polo now more than ever. He was my rock; it was okay to be sad around him. I would lay with him for hours crying while his strawberry blonde fur soaked up my tears. And when my dad brought his new girlfriend to Christmas that year my sister and I spent dinner in the garage. No matter what was happening Polo somehow made it better.

     Every day after Christmas we burn all the boxes and wrapping paper in a wood pile. This particular year, Polo, in the mood to end all the sadness, pulled quite a scheme. He pulled a stick out of the burning pile. It was burning on both ends. He ran around the yard with the same wild look in his eyes that he had the very first day I met him, he seemed to say “Chase me, chase me” It was the first time I’d laughed that Christmas.

     As Polo grew older his playful attitude never changed, but his bones started to creak and all the extra bacon weight started to slow him down. His nose and head turned completely gray. He ran and danced a little slower than he had before. I told myself that he would never leave and prayed that my rock would hold on as long as possible.

     Polo died in the autumn of my sophomore year of high school. It was a Sunday that I’d spent working, but it was my dad’s weekend and I would have been there had I not been called into an extra shift. I still can’t decide whether I could have handled seeing the dead body of my best friend who was once so full of life. I received the call about thirty minutes after I had returned to my mom’s from work. I figured my dad was just checking to see I’d made it home ok when I saw his name on the caller id. His voice was sad, no it was beyond sad. He said something about Polo passing. I didn’t hear anything else after that. I broke down and cried. And this time there was no one there to soak up my tears. I thought about my best friend and I knew that I would never stop missing him. I thought about all the things the two of us had experienced together. Some of these memories were sad, they were hard times. But for the most part Polo’s life had been a happy one, full of adventure and excitement. And with that I looked up to doggy heaven and laughed.

 

 

ROUGH DRAFT:

 

     Every kid should have a dog. Childhood can be rough; it is full of bruises and bumps. Circumstances often knock us off our feet and flat on our behinds. And nothing can fix that feeling like a loyal best friend: a dog.

     I will never forget the day that I met Polo. Nola, my step mom, had picked me up from school and we were driving to our house. She explained to me that one of her employees was moving and that she had to get rid of her dog. Nola was the general manager of all the Ruby Tuesdays in Southwest Missouri and Northern Arkansas. Summer, one of her managers had been promoted. The apartment she was moving to wouldn’t allow animals. So Polo, her golden retriever puppy, was moving in with us.

     We lived in the country at the time with our other dog Boo-Boo. Boo-Boo was conceived at the animal shelter by a chocolate lab and a dalmatian. He was certainly not supposed to exist so he was an accident, earning himself the name Boo-Boo. Boo-Boo was always a mellow dog, but he was the sweetest animal in the world. He could lie beside you for hours while you read and not move a muscle. Let’s just say, Boo-Boo and Polo were total opposites.

     When we arrived home Polo and Summer were playing in the yard. Summer would throw a stick and Polo would run to catch it. He would run right back to her feet. But when she reached down to grab the stick Polo would run away with it, just a few steps, and look back at her with excitement in his eyes saying, “Chase me, chase me.” She explained to me later, he was named Polo because life was his game.

     I will never forget how he looked prancing around with that stick in the yard. His paws were huge and so was his head. It weighed him down so much it looked as if he could topple over at any moment. His fur was strawberry blond and his big brown eyes were always curious and questioning. I couldn’t help but laugh at the clumsy puppy speeding away each time somebody grabbed for his stick. After playing a few hours Summer left. She cried as she held the big puppy in her arms for the last time. I was sad for her, but I couldn’t help being excited about my new puppy. That night we began a ritual, every other Saturday night, because I went to my dad’s every other weekend, Polo would get a bath. He loved the water, as golden retrievers often do, and he would splash around soaking everyone in the bathroom. We would then blow dry him so he’d be nice and fluffy and watch an old James Bond movie on Spike TV. We did this every other Saturday for years.

     Polo grew fast. We knew he would be big because of his giant paws and head. Before long Polo weighed over a hundred pounds, and he steadily gained five more every year due to his love of food, especially bacon. My sister and I would always insist on bacon for breakfast and we always made sure that there were leftovers.  We would take the leftovers out in the garage and say “Bacon!” in a tormenting tone. Polo would then spin in circles while he jumped around with his tongue hanging out and a wild look in his eyes. This would always result in an eruption of giggles from the feeders. We’d then toss Polo his piece of bacon, he never missed.  Then my sister would hold the enormous animal back while we gave Boo-Boo his piece.

     When I think about growing from the fourth grader with a new puppy into the young woman I am today I think about a lot of changes. When things were changing Polo was my constant. He was always there. When I was in the sixth grade and my first boyfriend dumped me, I thought my life was over. I remember that night my dad let Polo sleep in my bed. I held the enormous dog in my arms as I fell asleep. I remember I told him, “Polo, you are the only man for me.”

     When I was in the seventh grade my whole world shook. My dad announced to me that he and Nola were getting a divorce. I love Nola, she’d helped raise me, my dad and she had been married for nine years. I cried that night more than I had ever cried before. I told my dad I never wanted to see him again. But I couldn’t stay away. Nola had left Polo at his house; she said it wasn’t right to separate kids from their dog. I needed Polo now more than ever. He was my rock; it was okay to be sad around him. I would lay with him for hours crying while his strawberry blonde fur soaked up my tears. And when my dad brought his new girlfriend to Christmas my sister and I spent dinner in the garage. No matter what was happening Polo somehow made it better.

     Every day after Christmas we burn all the boxes and wrapping paper in a wood pile. This particular year, Polo, in the mood to end all the sadness, pulled quite a scheme. He pulled a stick out of the burning pile. It was burning on both ends. He ran around the yard with the same wild look in his eyes that he had the very first day I met him, he seemed to say “Chase me, chase me” It was the first time I’d laughed that Christmas.

     As Polo grew older his playful attitude never changed, but his bones started to creak and all the extra bacon weight started to slow him down. His nose and head turned completely gray. He ran and danced a little slower than he had before. I told myself that he would never leave and prayed that my rock would hold on as long as possible.

     Polo died in the autumn. It was a Sunday that I’d spent working, but it was my dad’s weekend and I would have been there had I not been called into an extra shift. I still can’t decide whether I could have handled seeing the dead body of my best friend who was once so full of life. I received the call about thirty minutes after I had returned to my mom’s from work. I figured my dad was just checking to see I’d made it home ok when I saw his name on the caller id. His voice was sad, no it was beyond sad. He said something about Polo passing. I didn’t hear anything else after that. I broke down and cried. And this time there was no one there to soak up my tears. I thought about my best friend and I knew that I would never stop missing him. I thought about all the things the two of us had experienced together. Some of these memories were sad, they were hard times. But for the most part Polo’s life had been a happy one, full of adventure and excitement. And with that I looked up to doggy heaven and laughed.

Published on January 5, 2009 at 3:01 am  Comments (4)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://creativewritingschs.wordpress.com/student-pages/student-6/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. amazing story. i really like the opening, it was quick to draw you eye and held my attention. the story is sad but it was very relatable. well written and fun to read.

  2. I really really liked this story. You made the story so realstic to the reader that we could feel the pain that you felt while we were reading it. Also, you wrote in a way that kept me interested from the beginning to the end. The only thing I wonder about is what happened to Boo-Boo because he was kind of cut out of the story, but besides that the story was awesome! Sad, but awesome.

  3. That was freaking adorable, i’m not gonna lie.
    but…. You might want to omit the first sentence in the first paragraph.
    From that Christmas on, you weren’t very specific about what year it was. like earlier, you would say 4th or 6th grade, it would be helpful if those were included.
    Other than that, good job!

  4. I really like this story. I was interesting to read even though it made me kind of sad. But I also wonder how your life had been after Polo died.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: