So Long, Sweet Scout

Dogs speak words

But only poets

And children


—Patricia MacLachlan

Scout, our sweet golden, died in February. He was diagnosed in late December with lymphoma and the vet gave him two to six months to live. Turns out six weeks was all we got. His medicine stopped working, his tail stopped wagging, and his eyes, oh those eyes, told me what my heart couldn't bring itself to see, and I knew. The house, once full of the sounds of a large tail thumping, claws clicking across the wood floors, and the happiest growl you've ever heard, is now audibly and achingly silent.

It's taken me a good long while to be able to write about it. For days after dear friends did what dear friends do best: pour out love. Tray, of course, sent comfort between the pages of the perfect book. She knew I'd be reaching for reads that lift and The Poet's Dog did just that. Beautifully.

It's a story of two children, lost in a snowstorm, rescued by a dog named Teddy who is lost in grief. The three find refuge in the cabin that once belonged to Teddy's owner, Sylvan—a gentle poet who died just days earlier. As the snow continues to pile up outside and the wind howls, a friendship forms that will begin to heal Teddy's broken heart and help him see that Sylvan hasn't really left at all.

This little story of love and loss, written by Newbery-winning Patricia MacLachlan, will help children (and grownups) navigate their way through grief with the quiet assurance that those we love never leave us completely. They are there, if we only remember to look with our hearts, continuing to watch out for us through the love and friendship of others. I know it's so with my own gentle poet gone too soon and dear dad whose twinkling eyes made my world feel safe. And now sweet Scout is there with them, as they wait, and watch, and pour down love.

Posted by Rachel