“Stealing Cletus” by Chance Cooney 

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Senior Chance Cooney received an honorable mention for her work of non-fiction, “Stealing Cletus.” Born in Flint, Michigan and raised on the outskirts, she moved to Idaho as an adolescent and fell in love with the mountains. Besides writing, she loves to indulge in whitewater, play hockey and throw the ball for his dog. She believes that adrenaline and literature are the keys to finding yourself.

Her work begins:

When I was in high school, my mom drove 477 miles to Portland to force her husband to sign divorce papers. When she arrived at her husband’s parents’ house, he was not there. Her husband’s Australian Shepard/Black Lab, Nate, was. A car had hit him and his upper body was disproportionately larger than his lower body, compensating for two broken hips. Her husband’s parents told her that her husband had been living with his new girlfriend for “quite some time.” Nate had been left with his parents because her apartment didn’t allow dogs. She’d convinced her husband to pick Nate when they were at the shelter. He’d wanted a Pit Bull. As she went to leave, Nate barked.

“Come on buddy,” she said. He took off past her out the door and directly to her car.

“You can’t take him!” The father yelled. Her husband called later that night, furious she had “just showed up” in Portland, but made no mention of the dog.

To continue reading, please click Chance_Cooney-Stealing_Cletus


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