Skip to content

PAWS for Beauty

March 15, 2023

March Memories

By Alice Jane-Marie Massa

                As St. Patrick’s Day draws near, I fondly recall those March memories of 1990.  I prepared for my first of eventually four trips to Leader Dog School in Rochester, Michigan, during the few days before St. Patrick’s Day, thirty-three years ago.  After my arrival at Leader on March 18, 1990, I received my first Leader Dog on March 21.  What a beauty was my first guide dog Keller!  The long hair of my first guide dog was reddish-gold.  Nevertheless, each of my four guides was beautiful in her own way.  Thus, when I needed to write a few lines of poetry for contributing to a “crowdsourced” poem, the topic or theme of which was to be “beauty,” I wrote the following seven lines as I thought of not only Keller, but also of Heather (my Yellow Labrador), Zoe (my Black Lab/Golden Mix), and my current Leader Dog Willow (a British Black Labrador).  Each of my four demonstrated her beauty both outwardly and inwardly and inspired the following short poem which I presented at the March Readers’ Workshop of the writers’ group Behind Our Eyes. 

PAWS for Beauty

By Alice Jane-Marie Massa

Beauty walks with

the graceful, knowing stride

of a guide dog

who leads a poet

through the unseen landscape

of a rhymed life.

Best wishes for a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

March 15, 2023, Wednesday


From → Uncategorized

  1. Susan M. McKendry permalink

    Alice, it is always nice to read anything you write about your four wonderful girls. I must admit that I always thought Keller was the most beautiful with that gorgeous coat, but they all had/have their own special beauty. I hope Willow was not too upset about the French bulldog replacing Labrador retrievers as America’s most popular breed. Never met a dog I didn’t like to steal from Will Rogers, but in my eyes, the F.B.s are not a beautiful or noble-looking dog, just maybe so homely they are cute.

    • Good Thursday evening, Sue–Yes, Keller was a classic beauty who loved
      to be groomed.  One time, I measured the feathering from her back legs
      at 14 inches.  I used to put her in the bath tub to bathe her after
      placing a large towel on the floor of the tub.  I always thought she
      knew how pretty she was.  Heather had an extremely thick creamy-colored
      coat that made her a beautiful Yellow Lab; my precious Zoe was truly
      statuesque and made me think of a “ballerina dog” with her manner of
      movement and grace.  Then, there is my Willow whom almost everyone
      prefers to call “cute.” While listening this morning to the news of the
      French Bull Dog’s taking over as the number one dog in the USA, Willow
      offered “no comment” because I think my British Black Lab believes she
      is “Number One” in most polls–especially in mine.  (Smile!)

      Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

      Alice and Willow

  2. Hi Alice,
    So few words but holding so much sentiment and care! Beautiful piece!

    • Good Thursday evening, Fran–So nice to read your comment this evening! 
      Thank you!  For me, writing a shorter poem is more challenging than
      writing a longer poem.

      Sending many good wishes your way–Alice and Willow

  3. mfanyo permalink

    Dear Alice,
    What a beautiful poem to celebrate your four wonderful Leader Dogs on your 33rd Anniversary! Your love for each one of them and their devotion to you have been remarkable to behold throughout the years.
    Love and Best Wishes,

    • Good evening, Mary–Willow and I thank you very much for your comment
      and your forever support.

      Best always–Alice and Willow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: