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...

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Alma, Arkansas