31 Days of Dogs, 10/31

This month was a big writing month, so I only read one book—“The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie” by Wendy McClure.

It’s a very funny travel narrative, in which she visits all the Little House sites throughout the country. But along the way, she discovers she’s writing about something else, something deeper (which I won’t spoil). 

In the book McClure explores the word “unremember,” which is used in one of the books about Laura: “You don’t deny something when you unremember it, you just give it a place to live,” McClure writes. She realizes “Laura Ingalls Wilder unremembered being hungry by writing Farmer Boy, and Rose Wilder Lane unremembered her terrible childhood by helping her mother write about hers.”

That’s a little of what I’ve done with my 31 Days of Dogs. I’ve been unremembering. I don’t want to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I want to talk about my dogs, who give me a reason to smile every day. Except when they’re driving me crazy, like last night, when they were licking coffee grounds off of the kitchen floor.

I want everyone reading this to know that just like Laura Ingalls Wilder, our story isn’t always pretty, and like her, I didn’t tell it straight. But it is my story nonetheless, and my dogs are part of it. Polo and Clover are unchanged. They are a few months older and not one lick wiser.

Someday, we will move from this house — God willing. We will look back on 204 Crestwood as our  Little House on the Prairie, which McClure says “stands apart as a masterfully creepy book.”

Creepy, creepy stuff has happened here, y’all, just as un-rememberable as Laura looking into the eyes of that black-eyed Indian baby as he rode away with his mother. McClure reveals that Laura was too young to have actually remembered that experience herself—she only described it through the memories of others. So, she unremembered it, with Jack the bulldog taking his spot under the wagon to walk the long walk to a new home

As long as Polo and Clover are still healthy, they will come along, too. And I will unremember this story through their waggy tails.

Happy Halloween, everyone.


  1. “And not one lick wiser.” I love that.

    Interesting, this theory of unremembering. I read the Little House books over and over and over again, and never thought of LHOTP as creepy, let alone “masterfully creepy,” but she’s right.

    I have closely followed a handful of these 31 Days blogs. Precisely because of your restraint, your telling it slant, your tight but not exclusive focus on the dogs — because of all that, yours has been my favorite. Really.

  2. I hope you will remember that you wrote through it all, good and bad. That alone is masterful!

  3. Oh, my. Yes. But see, you have been telling truth – lovely truth. Just not all of it. And that’s why this has been such a rich, fun, thought-provoking series. Thank you for it.

  4. i give your dog stories ten out of ten licks.