What is the title/author of this essay about caring for an aging dog?
April 18, 2011 10:23 AM   Subscribe

What is the title/author of this essay about caring for an aging dog? More inside.

About ten years ago I read an essay/short memoir in a borrowed book about the author caring for her beloved dog as it aged and died.

(I know, wet blanket, no fun, but it was a good read.)

Thought of it this weekend and would like to revisit it, but cannot for the life of me think of the author's name, the title, the collection it was in. No longer in contact with the person from whom I'd borrowed the book.

Additional details I do remember: I believe the dog was a German Shepherd. The author had a game she played with the dog, where it put its nose up and she grasped it like a stick shift, moving it around as if she was going through various gears while driving. I believe the essay was written in the (late?) 1990s, and definitely was by a female author.

A Google search for "essay dying dog gear shift nose" did not turn up anything helpful. :)

Ring any bells for anyone?
posted by voodoochile to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Anna Quindlen?
posted by mattbucher at 1:40 PM on April 18, 2011

Response by poster: Hmm, no, that's not it. This was shorter, one of several essays in a collection. All by the same author, as I recall (though it may have been published elsewhere as well).
posted by voodoochile at 2:01 PM on April 18, 2011

Anne Lamott? I know she wrote about a beloved dog who died in one of her books of essays on faith.
posted by bookmammal at 6:09 PM on April 18, 2011

Response by poster: Looks like this is the Lamott piece you're referring to. Unfortunately though, that's the one I'm thinking of either.
posted by voodoochile at 11:33 AM on April 19, 2011

Response by poster: *not the one, I mean.
posted by voodoochile at 11:34 AM on April 19, 2011

Could it be from Bones Would Rain from the Sky by Suzanne Clothier?
posted by acorncup at 6:15 PM on April 24, 2011

Best answer: Oh my gosh! I think I'm reading this right now! I remembered your AskMeFi question because the essay sounded wonderful, and I was hoping someone would come up with the title so I could read it, too. This has got to be it:

"The Fourth State of Matter" by Jo Ann Beard (The New Yorker, June 24, 1996)

The part you remember is near the top of this page.

It was republished in The Best American Essays, 1997 and a couple of other anthologies.

I have to go finish reading it now!
posted by fussbudget at 7:11 PM on June 23, 2011

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