From the March 2013 magazine.

March 2013: A Canine Step Nine

Some amends can be made with a milk bone and a little scratch behind the ears

Illustration by Kevin C.

When I was in the grips of my alcoholism, my dog was as close as I unwittingly allowed God to get. I loved and trusted my pet a whole lot more than people, especially those who had my best interest at heart. In retrospect, I discovered that my expectations of people were quite disproportionate to reality. Nevertheless, my dog would lie patiently by my side while I nursed yet another “justified” resentment wrapped in a hangover. And she would lie there all day, if necessary. Even some days in sobriety now, when I’m tempted to withdraw from the human race, my dog keeps me tethered to life. Thank God for my dog.

As I make another inventory at this five-year mark of my recovery, I reflect on the place my dogs have had in my life and the amends I owe them. Some may balk … making amends to a dog? Well, hear me out.

-- S.K.

Alma, Arkansas

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