Vaughan Had a Stroke Last Week

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,

Bo and Vaughan
Bo (left) and Vaughan, our howling wolves. Believe it or not, being a Samoyed/Lab mix really *does* mean you can howl. Or at least be very talkative.

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.


JJC 4/11/16

Updated 4/17/16

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