Marty Rhodes Figley is the author of several books for young readers, including PRISONER OF LIBERTY and WASHINGTON IS BURNING. She is a member of the Emily Dickinson International Society. Her academic paper on EMILY AND CARLO was presented at the 2004 EDIS conference and was published in November 2005 issue of The Emily Dickinson Journal. She lives in Annandale, Virginia.
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When Emily Dickinson was given a puppy by her father, the two were instant best friends. She named him Carlo, after a dog in one of her favorite books, and she delighted in the growing dog’s antics. Carlo, a Newfoundland (and possibly part Saint Bernard), grew to a rather large size and was full of energy. He loved his adventures with Emily. They were an odd pair—a tiny woman and a large, galumphing dog. But they were devoted to one another. Carlo gave Emily confidence to wander and explore the woods and hills near her home, and he listened to her stories and poems. This touching story—delightfully illustrated by Catherine Stock—gives a new insight into the life of the famed reclusive poet of Amherst, Massachusetts. Learning of her close friendship and love for Carlo sheds a new light on the thoughts and feelings of a woman believed to be lonely. Carlo is present in much of her poetry, and readers learn of a woman of charm and wit who loved her constant companion.