I came across Richard Gilbert while researching the difference between personal essay and memoir (here: http://richardgilbert.me/memoir-or-personal-essay-drawing-distinctions-is-vexing-in-the-varied-creative-nonfiction-genre/). The fantastic title of this article caught my attention, so of course I had to read it as a way of trying to justify to myself (and my kids) why we’re not getting a dog this year. But all it did was make me want to rush out to the local animal shelter and bring home a dog TODAY.
Richard Gilbert | Longreads | July 2016 | 18 minutes (4,584 words)
Belle Krendl, “our” dog but really mine, is a furtive, ragtag creature. She suffers in comparison to our prior dogs—and to most we’ve known. In fact, she suffers in comparison to any pet we’ve ever owned, including jumpy, escape-prone gerbils; a pert exotic lizard that refused to eat; cannibalistic chickens that stared with malice in their soulless green eyes; and a sweet, dumb, tailless black cat named Tao who spent his life staring into space with huge yellow eyes—but once, in a blur, grabbed and gulped down a gerbil our daughter dangled before him by way of introduction.
A Jack Russell terrier, or maybe a Jack cross, Belle Krendl is covered in whorls of stiff white hair. Bristly brows and white lashes accent her black eyes, as do her lower eyelids, a disconcerting garish pink. In the house…
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