Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hogan 1999-2011

Hogan on the beach at the Writer's Lair, summer 2011

I don't believe in "dog heaven" or any kind of afterlife, but I do believe in human memory, and I think Hogan will live on as long my mystery novels have readers. He first appeared in Cache of Corpses as Tommy Standing Bear's companion:

Hogan “had the graceful, alert conformation of a Lab and from a distance could be mistaken for a purebred. But the vet said his deep-set teeth, broad chest, narrow waist, slim tail, basketball head and steam-shovel chops suggested pit bull somewhere in his ancestry and probably not far back, either. . .

“At home, boy and dog immediately became inseparable. Hogan lay under the desk while Tommy worked, under the table while Tommy ate, and by his bed while Tommy slept. Out on the beach, they played for hours, chasing each other up and down in great explosions of sand. Despite his Labrador genes Hogan showed absolutely no interest in swimming and just gazed at Tommy in puzzlement when he threw a stick for the dog to fetch. Instead, Hogan displayed the pit bull’s propensity for dashing about in happy abandon, butt tucked underneath, eyes rolling, ears flying. . . .

"He had both the Lab’s sweet, clumsy nature and the pittie’s unbridled, tail-wagging exuberance—a singular and sometimes dangerous combination for delicate objects on the coffee table, especially since he quickly filled out, soon reaching a solid eighty-five pounds of muscle and bone. When asked if he wanted to go for a walk or to be fed, Hogan would suddenly burst into an excited little dance Ginny called 'the pit bull two-step,' his claws drumming an Irish dancer’s rat-tat-tat on the wooden floor.”

He was a hell of a dog, and I believe he knew it.


  1. A beautiful Ode...and thought there may not be an afterlife (though as my dad recently said, one can hope!) he undoubtedly has plenty of space to tail wag and do the two-step.
    Thank you for sharing. For yourself, and for those of us who now have our own memories of him.

  2. So sorry to read about this today. Hogan was quite a noble gentleman and always a welcoming host. I, too, will miss his wagging tail - and scratching his ears.