Classic Essay: Letting go of the Dog Who Rescued Us

Photo via Salon

In our introduction of the “Ask the Dogtor” column a while ago, we alluded to Dr. Bergman’s wife, Megan, and offered a link to her website. Those who were perspicacious enough to click on the link would have discovered that the Dogtor’s spouse is, in fact, Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of  critically acclaimed story collection, “Birds of a Lesser Paradise,” and a professor of writing at Bennington College. She also writes occasionally for the online magazine,

Her most recent essay is a moving account of saying goodbye to Captain Nemo, her first dog, whom she had adopted from a shelter. He was a special dog, for a lot of reasons, but he wasn’t an easy dog. Ms. Bergman does a wonderful job of describing how their relationship matured and deepened. And then that time came:

I cradled Nemo’s head in my lap and felt the rise and fall of his chest with one hand. My husband shaved a small rectangle into his fur. I felt sorry for Nemo and sorry for myself. Maybe, to some people, it sounds silly to care so much for an animal, precious even, but each of us knows what we look for in friends and loved ones, and where we find it.

This essay is not just about death, but about the many ways our lives are enriched by dogs. It’s a great read, and I highly recommend you devote a few minutes to it.

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