courtesy of Portland (Maine) Public Library, Special Collections
Rachel Field and I shared love for more than just an island house in Maine. We both adored our dog companions. Spriggin was Rachel's first Scotch Terrier and her iconic sidekick for an all-too-brief five years. Her second Scotty dog, Trotty, lived eleven years, until the summer of 1941. If death hadn't taken Rachel so precipitously the following spring, I suspect there would have been a third.
One of my favorite Field poems is called, "For a Dog Chasing Fireflies," from her collection, Branches Green. In the poem, she wonders about the grasping aspirations of people. Who are we to mock a dog's pursuits? The poem finishes with these lines:
By what sure power do we place
Ourselves above such futile chase,
Who seek more fleeting lights than these
That glitter under darkening trees?
I'll close with this beautiful painting by my daughter Anna (check out her website below), a scene with me and two of my dearest furry friends, now gone. The title is "looking at the stars with best friends." She captured so much that moves me about having dogs in the family: love, devotion, grounding. They also provide a plentiful supply of comedy.
Find Anna's and others' artwork here, including piano hats by Tessa Wood and handmade picture frames by R. Ramaswamy: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ThreadNWater)
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.