Poetry continues. Not trying to bury the lead, but our aged canine fellow Vaughan recently had a stroke. Before you read this and freak out (family), he’s OK. We had a little “is this it?” time,
but he’s recovering well. And wow, what an amazing dog he has been and continues to be.
Fourteen and Counting
Twelve years ago
You lost a bet with a truck
Dr. Kenney rebuilt your hip
With a floating socket technique.
Friendly games of tag and flights of stairs
Became slower and smarter,
You held your leg up and, like a tripod, hopped on.
Ten years ago
Cold March and cancer took your mother.
You have her warm brown eyes,
Gentle way with small children and smaller dogs.
Of my Birthday mates, you most channel her
Grace, substance and dignity.
Three Octobers ago
Your sister had a heart attack
On the living room floor mid-family relocation.
You grasped our new home as your old,
Sleeping, your head on Chris’ pillow,
Coming out of our bedroom
Blinking like you craved morning coffee.
Last summer you decided
Deafness and blindness the perfect excuses,
Overseeing farm chores from the truck seat.
Weekly hay trips now revert you to joyous,
Timeless puppyhood for six whole seconds
Before cozily napping on the bench seat.
Three nights ago
With a great stumbling crash
A stroke took your balance and your bark,
But not your wag.
Yesterday you ate hotdogs
Today it was cheese and meatloaf.
You even scaled the truck seat this morning,
Though it was touch-and-go getting out.
Twelve years ago I learned
Never bet against a dog who wants to live.