Old Dog

Sometimes you cling to me too tightly,
And I trip over you or I step on your paws.
Your emotionful eyes beseech me to understand
That you, like I, know that our time is limited
And I quickly forgive your often suffocating nearness,
As I turn to memory.

I recall the stormy evening when we met.
Remembering your trembling form so soft and small
Being lifted, transported,
Away from your mother, from your kind,
From the only world you’d ever known
To enter mine.

I recollect the attachment you sculpted with Pig.
I think on how you would bring Pig to me
Wanting me to squeeze the worn stuffed body,
And I would nearly swear,
You giggled to hear it oink;

Oh! The reason-defying ease with which you learned!
To sit, to stay, to fetch and to return…
And to be true.

I remember that you circled the children incessantly,
Demanding they play the part of the farm animals
You longingly wished to herd,
And that in spite of your God-ordained skill-set
You remained faithful to me,
Playing nursemaid to my bountiful blessings instead;

How you frolicked with them in the snow,
Appearing to laugh as they did
In joyous wonder at the crisp gentle beauty of it all,

How you achieved a particular sound,
An alarm you generated when your charges,
Ultimately my own,
Had managed to create a chaos
Beyond even your capable control,

How you played with your underlings
In the clear sparkling fresh water,
Rushing from a summer hose
On a scorching August afternoon,
Issuing your own set of commands…
Hoping to be included, to belong.

I recall how you rarely failed to greet me
And yes, to speak to me,
Immediately upon my return
From anywhere,
Where I had been was not your concern,
Your desire was to celebrate me home.

My affection for you is great, Old Dog,
Causing me to hope for you a soul,
But I know only that God made you,
And that He instructs me to be ever kind to you…
And that, Old Friend, comes easily.

Copyright 2011. L.L. Shelton.

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