Where the Trail Grows Faint: A Year in the Life of a Therapy by Lynne Hugo

By Lynne Hugo

"This is Hannah," Lynne Hugo introduces her chocolate Labrador retriever to an elderly lady in a wheelchair on the Golden View Nursing domestic. "Would you're keen on to pat her?" "I do not know," she responds warily. "Dogs are complicated." So, after all, is existence, specifically because the years acquire and the physique declines. in reality, the main painful issues are those who Hugo hopes to ease with Hannah, her exuberant treatment puppy. What Hugo gets in go back, all of sudden, is an outpouring of reports because the citizens reply to Hannah’s antics and affection. As Hugo’s involvement deepens, she starts off to work out her personal existence and her take care of her aged mom and dad in a brand new point of view. Interweaving the elders’ tales—of outdated loves and old goals, abandonment and loneliness, and the fight for dignity—with her personal family’s tale, she creates a richly textured collective portrait of the often-hidden global of the elderly. while, she crafts an eloquent meditation at the primary human have to nurture and stay attached to people, to animals, and to the flora and fauna.

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Additional resources for Where the Trail Grows Faint: A Year in the Life of a Therapy Dog Team (River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize)

Sample text

She tells me about her thirty-two-year marriage to Rodney, the second for each of them, and how she raised his three children along with the three of her own six still at home. Then came arthritis, seizures, two strokes; Button became increasingly disabled over a couple of years until she was chair and bed bound. 0pt P ——— Normal P PgEnds: T [29], (7) 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 Regret On Christmas Eve, three months ago, Rodney was staring into the fireplace, quieter than even his usual taciturn self.

The Golden View is a quadrangle, four wings built around an open central courtyard where bright tulips, hyacinth and daffodils spill color. 0pt P ——— Normal P PgEnds: T [41], (3) 42 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 Power wasteful. The sunlight on dogwood and white birch glistens like clarified butter. But when Hannah and I sign in, we check the courtyard and find it as empty as if the whole suggestion of renewal has taken the bypass, leaving this place stuck in a boondock winter.

I don’t want to miss moments to let them reminisce or speak their fears, because I am afraid that like Herman, like Big Sam, I won’t be able to forgive myself. I am already troubled by the times I’ve fallen short. It has nothing to do with payback, nothing to do with how perfectly they were or were not there for me. This is about my own standard, what I will and won’t be able to live with. At the same time, I know there are limitations to my power. I cannot protect them from loneliness, fear, suffering.

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