Paulette K. Fire

I do not love dogs

I do not love dogs. Dogs growl and lunge and bite. They can rip your throat out. I once saw that happen in a movie. People who love dogs say that it’s like having a child. It is not like having a child. These people should have a child, then they’d know the difference. I have three children, so I know. When people call their dogs “fur babies,” I try to be polite. I don’t say anything. I do not love dogs. Corbin is a dog. Corbin will be put down soon. He will die. I don’t want him to die. But Corbin is not my dog. Corbin is my son’s dog, my daughter-in-law’s dog, my granddaughter’s dog. Corbin is old and blind and disoriented. He bumps into walls and falls down stairs. Sometimes he doesn’t remember the people who love him. I love him anyway. Even if he doesn’t remember me. My father was like Corbin before he died. I loved my father.

Paulette K. Fire’s work has appeared in Harvard Review, Carve Magazine, The Pinch, Capsule Stories, the Jewish Literary Journal, Lilith, and Alaska Quarterly Review (forthcoming). Her essay, “Presumably Murdered,” was chosen as a Notable Essay by The Best American Essays 2019.

Photo by Jukan Tateisi


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