It was really just a small mistake.
I found it interesting that my dog, for hours, was amused by my throwing of a stick and her grabbing it and bringing it back to me.
The neighborhood kids called it “fetch.”
My dog passed away.
I cried for weeks on end.
I found a stick and threw it high, it arched through the air – the way it always did – and landed firmly on a pile of leaves. I half expected my dog to jump without hesitation into those leaves causing them to scatter and fall to the ground like ash from a volcano blast.
My younger brother came running out of the house and grabbed the stick. He ran it back to me. A moment of pain melted away and my brother and I connected on a new level.
He was my new “fetch” partner and we would play for hours on end.
My throwing, his retrieving.
The sticks eventually turned into a rubber ball about the size of a baseball. He enjoyed the bouncing aspect of the ball, it was more of a chase.
One day my brother fell to the ground. In a moment of frustration he threw the ball back to me, quite hard, and I caught it on the fly. I found myself getting angry at my brother for I was the designated thrower. I threw the ball back at him with such force that I was sure it would ricochet of his honeydew melon sized head and return to my hands, but he caught it before such an event could take place.
Now the neighborhood kids knew we were playing “catch.”