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Black Lab photo

The kids found a small skeleton, a squirrel or a baby raccoon, bleached white by winter. Where’d it go? Why is Scout coughing? You had to be careful, a roasted chicken on the counter, a freshly decorated gingerbread house, a cheese tray set out for company, animals the size of that little skeleton, still in their flesh and fur. Our black Lab, Scout, sleek as an otter, exuberant beyond our acceptance, loved, loved, loved, us. Each night he took his place under the bed for story time, forgiving our human hearts, so full and not nearly enough.


image: Rose McMackin