Love is Blind

You were blind and diabetic, a combination that resulted in a life of daily shots and furniture that always stayed in the same place. Bones visible on your frail body and special dog food adorning our cabinets, we gave you a life of limited space. You went to the bathroom in a certain spot, slept in a certain spot, and moved where you could. I wish you could’ve known more, and that I could’ve known you more. As a dog more than sick. One day you crawled up to me like you knew me and I hope that was enough.—Alyssa Asaro


Not a Casual Barker

Harper is a barker. Not just a casual barker but an ‘every time I get into the car barker.’ We’ve tried everything to stop his barking in the car but to no avail. Although friends and family feel his barking is unnecessary and Harper needs discipline, I beg to differ. He barks not to be bad but is greeting all his friends. One day, while driving and talking on my cell to my niece, Missy, I explained that once out of the neighbourhood, he would stop. Twenty minutes later, my niece exclaimed, “wow, he has a lot of friends.”—Sandra Roth


Pawprints On My Heart

I remember you as a puppy with paws too big for your feet. You were so rambunctious. Training was an adventure, to say the least. You mastered “sit” right away, but “stay” took a little longer. I remember the time I was yelling “stay” as you ran out the door, barking, towards the neighbour’s cat. You sort of listened because you stopped right at the edge of the yard. But I only saw the pawprints in the freshly set driveway. Now as I look at you speckled with gray, I realize those pawprints are cemented on my heart.—Joely Hart


A Smile That Saved

“I really need to leave a note,” she thought.  But what could she say?  Whenever she would bring up how depressed she felt, people would say, “You? What do you have to be depressed about?” and that would only make her feel worse. She would half-heartedly laugh and retreat inside herself, mired in the feeling of despair that consumed her with increasing regularity. As she sat palming the bottle, her Corgi Fry trotted up to her. Their eyes met and, in that moment, her despair subsided. The pills returned to the bedside drawer and they went for a long walk.—Dylan Schulz


D-O-G: Disciples Of God 

A little black rescue puppy changed my life forever. Baldwin, a Puli, was a high-octane ball of fluff. I quickly learned he needed a job and joined Therapy Dogs International. On our first hospital visit, Baldwin and I met Maria, a seven-year-old battling cancer. At first she looked pale and gaunt, but her colour started to return when Baldwin entered. Within moments, Baldwin lay across her lap and began to breathe deeply. While stroking his curls, Maria closed her eyes and breathed deep with him, looking better with every breath. That’s when I understood why “dog” is “God” spelled backwards.—Susan Hartzler


Pregnant Pause

For one of my earlier litters, I vaguely remembered that I had ordered a bottle of Bitch Pills (a prenatal vitamin for dogs) from Thomas Labs. I looked up the number on Google (I had not yet become hooked on Amazon Prime).

"Good Morning," a pleasant voice answered. "This is Jane McCormick. May I help you?"

"Hi Jane," I replied. "Do you carry Bitch Pills?"


With uncertainty she said: “This is the Albany Seminary.”

“Oh my God,” I nearly said aloud, quickly adding “Oops, wrong number.”

Almost before I finished, Jane laughingly interrupted: “Well, some of us up here may need some…”—Eleanor Green Winters