Once there was a family with a Highland name who lived beside the sea. And the man had a dog of which he was very fond. She was large and grey, a sort of staghound from another time. And if she jumped up to lick his face, which she loved to do, her paws would jolt against his shoulders with such force that she would come close to knocking him down and he would be forced to take two or three backward steps before he could regain his balance.
The man's excessive love for this dog ultimately costs him his life.
Alistair MacLeod returns to Ann Arbor to read from Island at Liberty Borders on Tuesday, April 2.
[Originally published in April, 2002.]