Betsy, born 23 December 2017. This picture is dated 21 February, when she was 8 and a half weeks old. 







The new pup, made of rubber and silk

with a mouth like a barracuda

hiding in a velvet cove —

she’ll kiss you as readily as bite:

Though she knows that the gentle tongue

is tender, what matters most is coming to grips,

overcoming all the dogness and humanness

that stands between us

and yet makes us for each other.

Although they are different individuals —

this supple lass, and the ashes in the seagrass chest —

for every praise of one, there is an echo for the other —

when the little head pops up above my pillow,

looking at me with tiny shiny eyes of wonder,

as if in the night we had forgotten each other —

well, the old pup shared that charm.

Chummy, 15 August 2006 - 31 December 2017. This is the last picture taken, after she had spent Christmas Day in the Intensive Care Unit (hence her shaved paws).