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Remembering Leader Dog Zoe

March 16, 2018


Remembering, with Love and Honor, Leader Dog Zoe


(April 23, 2007-March 16, 2016)


* * *


A Loving Portrait of Leader Dog Zoe in Watercolor Tears


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



If I were a sculptor,

I would have chiseled

into a block of marble

a lasting monument

to you and your beautiful ways.


If I were a painter of canvas,

I would have re-created

your portrait as you always sat

in your princes, posture-perfect pose.


If I were a skilled photographer,

I would have captured your likeness–

mid-stride, your harness up,

your head held high and proud

to be in the lead.


If I were a painter

with watercolors …

oh, but I have painted you

a thousand times

with watercolor tears–

this portrait framed only in my mind:

the painful hours and moments of your unexpected final day,

the precious and blessed years

that you

generously and lovingly

shared with me.


Since I am not an artist,

I have crafted only words for you

during these past measured two years,

these last twenty-four months,

these fleeting 104 weeks,

these recent  730 days–

without you

at my lead

or beside me.


To give tribute

to your greatness,

I could only dedicate

a small book to you,

dedicate this blog to you,

remember you

and thank you,

today and always,

at the highest altitude

of gratitude,

as I walk on with you ever in my heart

and Willow now well in the lead.



In loving memory of my third Leader Dog, Zoe,

who passed away two years ago

at 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 16, 2016,

at our home in Milwaukee–

Alice and Willow, my fourth Leader Dog


March 16, 2018, Friday


NOTE:  Although I wrote and posted an earlier version of this poem one year ago, I revised and updated this poem for this special posting on March 16, 2018.  Next week, I will continue with my typical once-a-week WORDWALK posting on Wednesday–March 21, the day that will mark my twenty-eight years of working with Leader Dogs.




From → Uncategorized

  1. Dear Alice. Words can’t accurately describe how this post touched my heart. Hats held high to the love you share with your Leader Dogs, and may their memories always bring a smile to your face. Bravo Leader Dogs! dp

    Sent from my Windows 10 Desktop machine


    • Deon–My Leader Dogs and I thank you very much for your special comment which means so much to us.  I appreciate your continuing to read my blog and keep in touch.

      Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Alice and Willow

  2. This is a poem that touches my heart and brings tears to my eyes, Alice. Your brilliant and beautiful Zoe was an amazing Leader Dog, and her devotion to you was only matched by your devotion to her. I know that your heart is breaking today as you relive every detail of this very sad day. I pray that you will find peace in your treasured memories of your time with Zoe. Sweet and remarkable Willow will certainly comfort you through her love for you.
    Thinking of you with love and prayers,

  3. Carole permalink

    A beautifully written tribute to a faithful and forever-cherished companion . . .
    Heartfelt hugs,
    The Morgans

    • Carole and Tim–Many thanks for your note about Zoe.

      Happy St. Patrick’s Day–Alice and Willow

  4. Sue McKendry permalink

    Alice–So grateful that you mentioned this in your post yesterday, as I always read them on Thursday morning so did not see this until today. I do remember the first poem and it was even more bittersweet to read this one. To know Zoe was to love her.–Sue

    • Sue–I especially appreciate this comment and am so glad that you and John knew Zoe and her special ways.

      Enjoy your day–Alice and Willow

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