Old Dogs Remembered
Edited by Bud Johns
238 pages, Synergistic Press, 1999
Only the coldest of dog owners would not give his or her dog a hug and an extra treat after reading one of
-- Booklist, American Library Association
An anthology of stories by a myriad of writers including Tom Stienstra, James Thurber, Elizabeth Barrett
Browning, John Updike, E.B. White, Eugene O'Neill, John Cheever, Molly Ivins, Louis Bromfield, T.S. Eliot,
Bud Johns, Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, Ann Tuttle Villegas, Raymond Carver, Robert Creeley, Loudon
Wainwright, Daniel Pinkwater, Steve Rubenstein, Brooks Atkinson, Stanley Bing, Ross Santee, E.J. Kahn, Jr.,
John Burroughs, W.H. Hudson, Glenn Matthew White, Robinson Jeffers, John Galsworthy, Paul Schubert,
Michael Rosen, Ruth Pollack Coughlin, Sir William Watson, Beth Brown, and Ros and Mary Howard.
"A celebration of relationships that have inspired and enriched some of our ablest writers," says Pets
Magazine. "Though rich in emotion and sentiment, Old Dogs Remembered is not a collection of laments.
There is much humor in recalling old dogs."
"It's packed with laughs, special memories and good times to which we can all relate," writes the Seattle
Author's Notes: I knew that when the old dog died I would write about us, but somehow, although I had read
many of their pieces, I'd never given a thought to how many others had written of old dogs remembered . . . or
how many non-writers had similar deep memories.
An editor friend, a new and devoted dog owner, knew I had resigned myself to the necessity of putting
Scoop down and said that he wanted the essay when I wrote it. The piece, which appears in these pages, was a
form of therapy - as I'd suspected it would be - but it was also a revelation. Nothing I'd ever written prompted a
more intense response.
The night the piece appeared we were preparing to take guests to the airport for a midnight redeye flight
when the doorbell rang. A neighbor had been walking his dog and, seeing the lights on, decided to tell me, if I
was the Bud Johns who had written that story, how much it had meant to him.
A friend called to say I owed his wife a supply of dry handkerchiefs. The chief executive of a large
corporation phoned to say he'd cried because he, too, was going to be taking a favorite old companion on its final
visit to the veterinarian.
But what surprised me most was the number of strangers who wrote, in care of the magazine. There were
words of appreciation for my writing but the focus was the desire to share their understanding about the loss of
an old canine friend. Some sent copies of things they'd written, not for publication but for personal release.
Others sent copies they'd clipped of other published pieces, always showing the dog-eared effects of handling,
reading, and rereading.
Those clippings made me realize how many writers had dealt with the theme of an old dog lost but not
forgotten. The search for their pieces led to the collection . . .