Mrs. Cookie Jar

A woman I often see in the park I’ll call Mrs. Ross, had to put Hannah, her beloved Bullmastiff, to sleep.

Hannah, who could have run for office, is who introduced us, way back when.

She’s in obvious mourning nowadays walking alone, loss written all over her stoic, elderly face. She had Hannah for 14 years saying, it was as if she lost one of her daughters.

She also said, the saddest part are the kids at the cancer center Hannah, a Wellness Dog,  visited weekly. It’s why I met her, after she found me weeping one day, all alone on a bench.

The kids thought Hannah, who also had cancer, caught it from them, so they needed to be gently convinced it was only a coincidence.

They made a shrine to her with pictures they drew of heaven, with God greeting her when she arrived. One little girl asked if she could call God to tell him, cheese biscuits were Hannah’s favorite.

I know, it breaks your heart, the earnest innocence of a 6 year-old who, alas, may not see her 7th birthday.

This morning I saw Hannah’s mistress by the 72nd Street Boat Pond, seated near the Hans Christian Anderson statue surrounded by a bunch of dogs in all shapes and sizes.

She’s known to carry a horde of cookies in her deep, coverall pockets, earning the name, Mrs. Cookie Jar, a fact all the dogs know.

Their owners kept their distance after she made it known she wasn’t up to being social quite yet, but the four-legged clearly knew, this didn’t apply to them as she fed them all like happy, hungry ducklings.

But here’s the part that left a lump in my throat. When her pockets were finally empty, they didn’t leave. They all sat beside her, as though it were a wake, knowing what she needed more than anything, was the comfort of Hannah’s friends.

We could take a lesson from this furry group, knowing when to show up quietly with grace, to simply remember a fallen comrade.   images-4

When I left to go home, my own heart so full, I too remembered Hannah, especially the day I made her big-hearted acquaintance crying on a bench with her noble, compassionate head warm in my lap.

I hope she’s somewhere right now, sitting in the sun, her work here all done, enjoying that eternal cheese biscuit.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in animals, Family, food, friendship, grace, humanity, Love, nature, New York City and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Mrs. Cookie Jar

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, so often the loss of a beloved pet is dismissed as trivial. And the dreaded ‘You need to get another dog/cat’. Despite several cats that I’ve had since, I still miss my Monkey Kitty (Siamese) that I lost 16 years ago. She was almost 23 years old. I think Hannah’s mom needs to continue seeing the children. Perhaps there is an animal shelter that brings animals to visit that she could volunteer with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think she’ll get another dog eventually. She’s not a whiny, weepy kind of person, she’s just grieving, so I see another pooch in the distance. Hannah, who was the size of a Buick, was quite a presence. And you’re right, animals tug at our heart strings, even 16 years later. sigh

      Liked by 1 person

  2. robprice59 says:

    It is utter torture. We were watching Jasper, a one year old black Lab, running around at Digby Agility Training on Saturday, without a care in the world. He died last night. Beth, his owner, is in pieces. We just feel helpless.


  3. Animals often have more empathy than people. I lost a beloved cat and a beloved aunt within months of each other. I cried daily for 6 weeks for my cat. I was very sad for my aunt but she wasn’t in my daily life. She had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for 10 years so I viewed the passing as appropriate. My cat was old but not elderly yet I missed her presence every minute of every day. Pet loss is not trivial. I do hope, when she’ ready (and you can’t rush these things) that she adopts another dog. For older people it’s a great way to stay social.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have always said I am not a dog person. My only 2 fav dogs are my granddogs, Winnie and Rue, who are parented by my Daughter and her husband.
    However, as I sit in my recliner at night (early morning) and try to sleep, my cat on the arm next to me getting some petting before I drop off, I do realize how I will hurt when she goes. And I don’t thing that “getting another cat” will fix all of the either.


  5. Eilene Lyon says:

    I’m a sucker for any dog story. Hannah sounds wonderful. It’s woeful they have such short lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Patricia says:

    It is sad to lose a furry member of the family. They are family though some folks disagree and it is their loss never knowing the love given by the furbabies.

    Liked by 1 person

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