Home on a Saturday Night
Yes, it sounds like a Sam Cooke song.
I don't mind that it does because Sam Cooke has been one of my idols since I realized who he was.
One of the ways that I have felt companionship through many lonely nights in my past has been by the wonderful and, dare I say, blessed company of a four legged friend. I often speak about genealogy, biological and historical, and most always I am referring to the human kind. How many of us, however, remember dearly the family members we have cherished in our lives who could not sing us happy birthday, drive us to the store, lend us money to pay a bill, but helped us endure ever so sincerely, when ever these occasions arose?
I remember my first dog was named Peanut Sally Haley. I was 5. She lived until I was 19 years old when she suddenly fell ill with stomach cancer and passed away within a week. I still treasure the calendar we had made the last year of her life with her picture posted above the months. We swore that Peanut smiled when our family would return from a vacation to pick her up from the vet or even when we would walk through the door from a 30 minute trip to the store. She would wag her tail frantically, pee, and crack the widest canine grin you could imagine. We couldn't have loved her more.
Since that time my family and I on my own have adopted and shared our lives with Chestnut, Star, Tiger Lily, Ticket Cabaret, WC, Penney, Capezio Jazz, DJ and Alice Destinee. I bring this up because today I read the tragic story of an actor who committed suicide after the loss of a beloved four year old pet he had to have euthanized after being unable to find him a home-his apartment building having banned pit bulls from residing in their units. There were likely other events in his life that added to the fatal depression he could not avoid, but the article expressed a sense by those closest to him that this was a loss too deep to overcome.
Perhaps it was fate then that made me search random piles of papers and retrieve an old 4x6 notepad on which I had written a poem about the first friend I ever adopted as an independent adult, Ticket Cabaret, who lived from 1985 to 2005. I wrote this poem in 1999 after coming home from the vet who had just diagnosed that Ticket's sudden depression and moments of confusion was due to the fact that she was now 14 and almost totally blind.
I dedicate this to Nick Santino and his beloved friend, Rocco. Let's all be open to remembering and cherishing our pets when we talk about our family trees and our genealogies. What would our lives be without them?
Chris Haley - 2/26/2012 12:50 AM
Alex Haley Roots Foundation Contacts
|Bill Haley Jr.||Chris Haley||Andrea Blackstone|
|Chief Executive Officer|
|Public Speaker / Actor / Performer|
|Grove Street Magazine Founder|