Some may count their lives in coffee spoons,
my years are numbered out in dogs –
Bruno, who had a kaiser roll for breakfast soaked in coffee.
The vain (but charming) Boots who ran away.
Jeremy, the dog who greeted everyone
with some gift clenched in his mouth.
Magda, the chow-chow who loved anyone
who would slip her a bloody mary.
Pouki, who looked like black spaghetti,
and, best in show, my darling Clementine
who understood what hiding meant but didn’t realize
she stuck out the back behind some trees.
All these I loved and loved and loved
and most, I think, loved me.

But now they’re gone and I’m too old
to tackle puppy training …
and would not care to leave a dog
behind me when I go.

The bright side (there is always one, you know) is that
not having a dog means all the dogs are mine…
I greet them in the street
and sometimes…
well, a few owners go so far
as to stand still when they see me coming…kind folk
who let the old bird get her canine kicks –
to squat and have her face washed with a hundred licks.

There’s a dalmation who knows me now
and croons at my approach, a bull terrier with a muzzle
like a horse, and a tail that whips the air…
I have a kennelsworth of friends!

But best of all I can show sincere affection for them
without one of my own
getting bruised in the deal.

PS. If I weaken, it’ll be for a dorgi – half teckel half corgi




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