I have a review of Annick Smith’s new memoir Crossing the Plains with Bruno — her story of a road trip from Montana to Chicago to visit her ninety-seven year-old mother, accompanied by her chocolate lab, Bruno — in this week’s Missoula Independent. You may check it out HERE. If memoir is your thing, you’ll dig it. Smith is a fine writer, and her life has been an interesting one. An excerpt from the Preface of the book:
Dogs may or may not be aware of the fragility of their humans, but we owners of pets are aware of the predictable mortality of our animal companions. Such knowing does not stop a lover of animals. Loss, we have learned, is the price of love, and love is what we are after, no matter the pain.
If you are a pet owner, you are likely well acquainted with that pain. I certainly am. At risk of being maudlin, as tribute here are the three desperate loves Julia and I have lost over the last two years, and our house is so much emptier as a result. They all lived long, full lives, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t leave us way too soon. Just looking at their pictures I’m reminded how terribly I miss them all.
I was out of town the early part of this week, and apparently it snowed at home again. Yesterday, however, felt like an early glimpse of summer, as you can surmise from these pictures. We took the dogs out to the river via Council Grove State Park for some running around, and they loved it.
I know shots of other people’s pets don’t interest a lot of people, but they interest me, so sue me for showing pictures of mine.
You’ll note only three of the dogs are pictured. Orly, The King, is well into his golden years; he’s pushing 19 now, I guess. He can’t hear, is mostly blind, and doesn’t get around so well and is mostly addled. We fear his final days are upon is. It makes me a little sad to not have him out with us, but that’s how it goes with pets. Hell, Bernard, the big dog, doesn’t get around so well either. All of our pets are old. It will be some painful moments over the next couple years, for sure.