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Walking in Zoe’s Pawprints during National Poetry Month

April 23, 2019



Poetic Day 23 of National Poetry Month:  April 23, 2019, Tuesday


455 years ago on April 23, William Shakespeare was born.  The 23rd day of National Poetry Month also marks the twelfth anniversary of the birth of my third Leader Dog, Zoe.  How I wish I could have seen her and held her when she was a puppy in 2007!  Nevertheless, her being such an important and loving part of my life from June 6, 2009 through March 16, 2016 inspired many poems and still brings forth a multitude of precious memories.


The poem-of-the-day is written from a different perspective because the guest blogger is my fourth and current Leader Dog.



Walking in Zoe’s Pawprints


poem by guest blogger Leader Dog Willow,


as expressed to Alice Jane-Marie Massa



Walking in Zoe’s pawprints,

sleeping in her doggie beds,

playing with some toys she left behind,

catching whiffs of her

in these rooms I now call “home,”

being trained by Sue as Zoe was,

guiding someone Zoe once led,

loving the someone Zoe so loved

has been my remarkable life for almost three years.

What lies ahead?


On days like these,

these special days,

I am caninely content

being surrounded with thoughts of

and tears for the practically perfect Zoe

because her scented trail

helped me to learn

these once new, unfamiliar paths,

the tricky routes around construction,

the entry doors to each usual destination.

Walking in Zoe’s pawprints,

I learned my way around Milwaukee

so very quickly and efficiently.


If Zoe is now an angel–

and we like to think she is–

we know she is watching over us,

still helping to lead the way.


I am not a replacement dog.

Who could replace the beautiful  and bright, extraordinary Zoe?

I am a successful successor dog

who takes pride in and enjoys

walking in those almost perfect pawprints,

being tremendously cared for

(just like Zoe was),

hearing the praise from the someone

who highly praised her Zoe,

being petted by the hand

that once stroke my predecessor,

sharing the enormous and forever love

with another Leader Dog named Zoe.


What lies ahead for me?

Sweet memories of looking behind,

the joy of the journey,

and the hope of being an amazing Leader Dog

for many more happy and rewarding years.


* * *




  1. Write a poem which is from a different perspective, a point of view other than your own.
  2. Write a poem about a guide dog or pet who is no longer with you.
  3. Write a poem about reading, studying, or watching a play by William Shakespeare (since today is the anniversary of his birth in 1564).
  4. Write a poem about the record-breaking JEOPARDY! contestant James Holzhauer, whose winnings are over a million dollars.
  5. Write a poem about something you won, almost won, or you wish you had won.


* * *


This blog post and my other posts of National Poetry Month are dedicated

in memory of Deon Patrick Lyons–

poet, novelist, blogger, and friend.



Lovingly remembering Zoe on this anniversary of her birth and

once again abundantly thanking trainers Sue Hackman, Jessica Bimmerman, and Christie Bane–

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


April 23, 2019, Tuesday







From → Uncategorized

  1. Susan M McKendry permalink

    Willow–Well done! And you are so right–not a replacement, but a very successful successor, just as Zoe succeeded Heather and Heather succeeded Keller. You have all been so special.–Sue

    • Hi, Sue–A-a-ah, thanks for your comment!  I appreciate your mentioning the entire quartet of Leader Dogs, a member of which I am proud and delighted to be.

      With PAWticular gratitude,

      Willow, the writer (Leader Dog, Class of 2016)

  2. mfanyo permalink

    Dear Willow,
    What a coincidence that, along with your many outstanding characteristics, you also share a talent for writing with your best friend Alice! Although I visit you fairly often and witness your impeccable work, I know that you do far more than what I see in my short visits. I just want to thank you for being the amazing Leader Dog that you are each and every day.
    With special pats and love,
    Your Auntie Mary

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