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Fortune’s Talker
in memory of Roscoe, a black Labrador

Some are born to talk and that’s a story,
And some know what to do with the gift
And that’s a different story—Roscoe
Born at the guide dog school,
But too sensitive for traffic,
Roscoe was a sweet talker.
All dogs “talk” but few have nuance:
Roscoe knew. Oh he knew
When you felt rich inside
So he had a word or two for that;
And even yesterday, lame and tired in wet grass
He had encouraging things to say
To our neighbor’s dog who is young and fast.
We should all have things to share
In praise of animal faith
And with some of Roscoe’s luck
May we be wise enough
To find our better calling:
Joy.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 50: Sept/Oct 2008
Stephen Kuusisto teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Iowa. He is the author of Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening and of Planet of the Blind, a New York Times Notable Book. His latest book, Don't Interrupt: A Playful Take on the Art of Conversation, was published in 2010.
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