Writers and Their Pets: Alan Heathcock

The ‘Writers and Their Pets’ series began with my own desire to celebrate my dog Sally, and over the coming months I will also invite other writers to share with the rest of us the details of their lives with beloved pets.

We also ask contributors to the series to tell us about their favorite pets from literature. Here’s what Alan told us: “I’m a tough guy from a tough place and I write tough stories. But a little pig breaks me down. In Charlotte’s Web, Wilbur has found out he’s destined for the farmer’s chopping block and his new spider friend Charlotte says she’ll think of way to save him—and Wilbur, unable to sleep, says, ‘Charlotte, I don’t want to die.’ It’s just too real, too painful—I cry every time I read it. Wilbur is filled with so much innocence and beauty and humility and I don’t want him to die. I want to hold him in my arms and tell him the truth that he’s a very special pig and everything will be okay.”

We hope you enjoy Alan’s essay.

—Ladette Randolph, Editor-in-Chief

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My dog Mazzy Maebelle Heathcock is a nine-month old black lab mix—a mix of what, we’re not sure, though part black-lab part bunny is my guess. She’s a pound puppy, and we feel very fortune to have her in our family. Mazzy is pure love. She is warm and cuddly and my wife and three kids love her as much as I do.

If you need to hug something, Mazzy is there for you. If you need a warm wet tongue on your face, Mazzy will always accommodate. If you need someone to attack an intruder or intimidate your neighbors, Mazzy is not the dog for you. She loves everyone. She even loves our eighteen year old cat, Kitty Sue, who, at her age doesn’t love much of anything anymore. But ol’ Mazzy does her best to snuggle up with Kitty and make friends. Mazzy is a good dog, and though she chewed up a pair of my Cole Haan shoes she’s been a pretty great pup.

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