Melatonin and Other Things My Dog Ate: A True Story by Claire Schwartz

Were you planning on taking

A transatlantic flight

When you helped yourself to an entire

Bottle of melatonin that one night?


I wish I could find what I wrote on my

Grocery shopping list.

But only a corner was left

After I tore it from your grip.


I would have loved experimenting with

Four different types of gluten-free flour.

But you tore apart every bag,

Even though I was gone for just an hour.


Christmas truffles, garbage sushi,

A bowl of raisin bran.

Coffee grinds, an empty pizza box,

My husband’s new Vans.

Don’t you know the main ingredient

In sugar-free gum

Is harmful and toxic

To your little tum?


Once you ate

A dried starfish at the ocean.

The vet feared the worst,

But you showed no emotion.


Eight mini red velvet

Chocolate cupcakes.

Is there anything that won’t give you

A stomach ache?


Growing up on the streets of Los Baños

Must have toughened you up;

Prolonging your little life

While giving you extra años.


A vegan gluten-free carrot cake

My friend spent all day baking.

You’re lucky she was kind

And didn’t give you a spanking.


All I can say is, it’s a good thing

You’re so cute,

An unparalleled defense mechanism

Ensuring you’ll never be destitute.


Claire Schwartz is currently enrolled in the MA in Humanities Program at Dominican University of California. After she graduated from Dominican with her BA in 2008, she worked as a flight attendant for Virgin America, where her psychology degree came in very handy. She is currently working as the Alumni Communications Manager at Dominican, and thrilled to be continuing her studies in the liberal arts.