Sue Hall, dog

This week, my good friends, Sue and Emma, lost their beloved Lucy. I am cross-posting here what Sue said on her facebook page in honor of one of the world’s great dogs. Sue writes:

We said goodbye to Lucy this morning.

After giving into pressure from a persistent 6-year-old Emma, we adopted Lucy from Second Chance. She’d had a rough start in life but quickly fit into our household of cats, a snake, pet rats, and chickens. She was a loyal protector against door-to-door solicitors and bad cats who sometimes made life difficult for our indoor-outdoor cat, Maggie (she would hear a catfight in the middle of the night, beg to be let out, bark and chase away the mean cat, and then walk beside Maggie and escort her safely home). Lucy loved running with me on the Greenway, where she also chased Emma on her bicycle, then trotted happily behind her when she caught up.

Lucy loved her food, especially carrots (“orange bone”), and could be annoyingly underfoot when we were cutting them up for salads. She could hear us from the other end of the house when we would open the silverware drawer as quietly as possible to retrieve the carrot peeler. We would peel the carrot slowly and—we thought—silently, but we would turn around and see a smiling dog, waiting patiently for her treat.

She adored us completely, and we loved her equally. Life will never be the same without our good black dog, but we are glad that she is at peace.

Harriet Chessman, Samoyed

A poem from Harriet Chessman (who worries that it’s too sad) in honor of a beloved dog.
Harriet is a Bay Area poet, novelist, short story writer and editor whose work has been described as intelligent and entrancing. She loves dogs.


White flash on green
biscuit blur on snow
triumphant snatcher
of gloves and toys

you breathed the Arctic
witty forager
courageous follower
of the scent, whatever –

Skunk, cat, raccoon –
the world tempting
in its fragrance
with you at the center

a twenty dollar bill,
a stick of butter,
all the shimmering

things awaiting
white teeth
eager gullet.

Your last day, you
stood to greet us
on the vet’s
green lawn

eager to be
our dog still
confiding and
ignorant of sleep.