There 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.
TAKING LUCY BACK
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.)