I remember the day Kenny killed Bobo. I might not remember it so clearly if he hadn’t made me watch. Bobo was a black cocker spaniel, old, arthritic, half blind, experiencing hair loss and was sometimes incontinent. She could no longer get up and down the back steps by herself and it was our responsibility to help lift her behind when she would stop halfway, either up or down.
One day, while the Old Lady was gone to town, Kenny took one of the Old Man’s neck ties out of his closet and tied it around Bobo’s neck and then lifted her up and tied the other end to the freezer door handle. I tried to leave the room and he stopped me, hand firm on my shoulder. “You need to watch this.”
Bobo kicked and struggled and eventually stopped kicking and struggling. At that point, Kenny untied her, arranged her ‘sleeping’ under the kitchen table and put the Old Man’s neck tie back where he’d found it. Then he went to find the Old Man.
“Daddy, come quick, I think something’s wrong with Bobo; I started to take her outside to go pee but she’s not moving.” IF they had been more intelligent, they would have known this was a total lie. Kenny never did a single chore that he wasn’t practically forced to do and he sure as hell never did one without being told, never ever on a volunteer basis. But I didn’t tell. Oh no. I had been shown what happens to those who are not in his good favor and I had no wish to be hung from the freezer door handle.
We dug a hole and buried Bobo before the Old Lady got back from town. She took it hard but probably better than had she found poor Bobo herself. Bobo was at least 13 years old and I was about 9 or 10. I can still remember Bobo’s eyes. Strangely I don’t remember looking at Kenny’s eyes.