Week 1 Response

The essay I chose to write about this week is called “My Father Stood Loading His Gun” by Lucas Dean Fiser. It was published January 1, 2012 in Pif Magazine (http://www.pifmagazine.com/).  Right after reading the title I was sucked in. Fiser writes about witnessing his father shoot the family dog when he was just 14 years old. The dog was pregnant with a litter of dead puppies that essentially mangled her insides beyond repair, so she was shot to end her pain. This story is really sad, as you might expect, but it has more to it. There are also hints that the author has a less than perfect relationship with his father, who was abused by his father. He tells the audience that his father has scars from cigarette burns on his arm caused by his own father. The lack of dialogue really helps the reader understand how the 14 year old boy felt that day because in the beginning he didn’t know what was happening. The story opens with him reading a book on his bed, and the audience is gradually made aware of the situation.

Though I have never experienced this exactly, I can relate somewhat because my family had to make the difficult decision of putting our dog down in December of 2007, after loving her and being loved by her for ten years. When I put my dog down, I took her to the vet who gave her an injection. She gently fell asleep. That was almost too much for me to handle, and at that time I was a freshman in college, not a 14 year old. I can’t fathom what it would have been like to see her shot! It’s so much more gruesome, and far from comforting. It’s hard to imagine her going to heaven via .45.

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