Pit bulls are her preference, but it’s really
all about ridiculously cute and funny faces.
She scrolls the web for them, sussing
them out with the intense devotion
of a serial killer stalking a victim.
She’s had mutts, a blood hound
and Pits, as well as a few pet rats.
Her love for her animals is only equaled
by their remarkable reveals post-placement
of obscure and bizarre health conditions.
She built a special high chair to prop one pup
upright to eat every tiny, hand-fed meal,
after spending months doling out kibble
as she held her up on her shoulder
like a baby. Some rare digestive disorder
necessitating the small, frequent, vertical
feeds or the dog would have perished.
Her newest adorable addition,
who never managed to master
a leap from floor to furniture
in his first year, now needing hip
Countless trips to the vet for this or that
Illness or injury are the norm for the
kind-hearted Mistress of Cursed Canines.
I watch her drive by, my old dog at my feet
who gets his annual inoculations,
eats, voids, plays and otherwise
goes about his hapless business,
delighted and relieved by his sweet
but unremarkable visage.
All the holes dug and packed with discards
and prizes to be unearthed later. It’s the treasures
she hopes to rediscover, tucking those
items away so they can’t be taken from her
or disabused by others.
The shelter life taught her
you can’t count on holding on to anything
much for long. Things are not really yours.
Even the good days, laden with abundant
affection, always end. Darkness inevitably
settles back, capping her in alone.
Today, she sleeps in the sun, content
and positioned nicely with hole vantage.
She can wake and walk free, search her trail
of treasures and sink her teeth into delights
secreted. If what she digs up instead
is something tattered nearly beyond
recall, something she placed far
underground and meant to leave behind
for good, she’ll still manage
to find pleasure in her willful act
I searched for you
wanted to bring you home
and into our hearts
give my children something I never had
help them learn about dogged devotion,
the responsibility that inevitably comes with love
I didn’t expect your moose-iness
or that you’d be part muppet, part Barry White
or that my son would want to die if you did
that he would create a whole religion based
off of your patience and unwavering fidelity
that when the world became far too overwhelming
the only chance he had to regain peace
was waiting in the fur of your neck
and the deep quiet of your dark eyes
NaPoWriMo Day 30
My son sleeps
with his nose
resting against the top
of our dog’s head
both in easeful repose
their breathing synchronized
their serenity palpable
Ten years ago
my very small son
climbed into our new puppy’s crate
curled up next to him
and whispered husky-voiced boy promises
of lifetime care and love
of catch and bones
Now as the perils of adolescence
rip jagged holes
in my son’s sense of self-worth
it is our canine senior citizen
who pushes open the doors
sheds unmatchable comfort
and leads his friend safely home
NaPoWriMo Day 11