Bingo hated me. The only thing I ever got to do was give him his name and that — despite the fact that he favored my father most of all — made him mine or so my mother told me ad nauseum. They wouldn’t get me a cat or a hamster or a turtle, so I was stuck with the jobs of feeding him, changing his water, and cleaning up after him in the yard, a task I ranked slightly above picking up rotten peaches in August. He growled at me, was stubborn when I took him out for walks, slept with me only because my parents’ bedroom door was closed. My father used to come to my room holding him. “You’re a good boy,” he’d say to Bingo. “There’s a baaaad boy.”
I did not cry when my mother wrote to me in Greece to tell me that he was dead.