TLR_v1n2_frontcover1.5x2There is a saying that we keep our old friends to remind us who we were, and that we make new friends because we see, in them, who we want to be.  I believe our animals come to us in much the same way.  That they come to us when we are lost, when we begin the search for our next selves.

In the latest issue of the Tahoma Literary Review I’ve written an elegy to an injured dog I met when we were both, in inexplicably similar ways, lost.  We needed each other, Lucy and me, even if nothing about our kinship — not our 3 short years together nor the terrifying end — was what I’d imagined it would be.



            The letter arrives on a Thursday, in a plain white envelope postmarked June 18, Oakland, California. There is no return address. There is not even my name, only the two lines of my street address pressed too hard with a black ballpoint pen. Inside I find a photograph of skin with a dark purple and green bruise the width of my hand, a bloody pink line cut hard down its center. The photograph is tucked inside a handwritten letter that begins:

          “Hi, I just wanted you to see what your dog is capable of. She really did attack me with absolutely no provocation. I was walking on the other side of the street, not even in her direction, and she came after me at full speed.”

(Click Here to download the free PDF.  Story on page 81.)

19 thoughts on “Elegy

  1. donnaeve

    Oh gosh. I think I’m ready to read this, and it’s probably just as well I’m alone right now. Blaine is on his annual “birthday fly fishing trip.” For what I know is going to happen, for what it did to me when I had to make my own choices only weeks apart, I’ve armed myself with a brand new box of tissues. This will be, I am certain, an elegant and heartfelt piece.

    1. donnaeve

      And so I did okay until pg 93. I think you might recall how I’d just put Bella to sleep on August 2nd, and there I was, on August 23rd, having to do the same thing all over again with Kiwi. I received this a few days after.

      “Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears,
      but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you.
      Do not let the thought of me be sad,
      For I am loving you just as I always have. I loved you so…
      ‘Twas heaven here with you.

      ~Isla Paschel Richardson~

      1. donnaeve

        Sorry Teri, bogarting your space here. Yeah, Austin. I see two spots, and actually, there’s something on every page.

        Well done, Teri, really.

  2. Suzy Vitello

    I remember being lucky enough to read this before it was pubbed. It has really stuck with me. There’s so much in it. Joy, fear, love, grief. So beautiful.

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