“You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.”
from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince
Though he yapped and whined,
I still loved him so.
He was my dear friend.
He'd turned old and blind
when we let him go.
How can my heart mend?
Written 10/15/14 by Andrea Dietrich
For the Design Your Tableau Contest of nette onclaud
The old man sits in his chair by the door
His dog lies beside him curled up on the floor
Ever since that day when the man lost his wife
that dog had, to him, been the whole of his life
With his constant companion through all those long days
he'd sit in the sun enjoying its rays
It seemed like for hours the old man had dozed
A faint smile on his face and his eyes tightly closed
The dog licks his hand and emits a faint whine
and looks up at his face as if for a sign
but the man doesn't move, just continues to smile
so the dog lays back down on the floor for a while
The dog gets its ball, lays it down at his feet
but the man takes no notice, just stays still in his seat
He nudges the ball as if he were saying
"What's wrong with you, why aren't you playing"
Then, as if in acceptance, the dog quietly sighs
and looks up one last time with adoring eyes
The dog keeps his vigil through the night 'til next day
ever since, that sad morning, when the man passed away
Bob had been a lonely man ever since
His wife of fifty years had passed.
“Lord, let me join her.” he would pray.
“Let this day be my last.”
Each day, he went to the cemetery,
Just a short walk down the street.
After their talk, he would water her flowers
And hear passers-by whisper, “How sweet.”
One gray and misty morning,
He had hoped for sunnier skies
To plant fall bloomers at her graveside;
But, there, to his surprise…
Stood an old dog beside her stone;
Thin and dirty, but he struck a handsome pose.
He whined as Bob approached, as if to say,
“I could use a friend, you know.”
He sat calmly as Bob planted flowers,
Carefully sniffing each one Bob put in place.
Then, after the last one was planted,
He sniffed it; then turned and licked Bob’s face.
Bob smiled. “I had a dog when I was young…
Pal…he was a mighty good one too.
So, if you don’t mind old fella,
That’s what I’ll call you.”
Pal may have been an old dog,
But he was smart and handsome in his way;
So they made a deal, Bob would give him a meal
And a bath, if he decided to stay.
Pal loved his bath, then rolled in the grass.
He slept on a blanket in the den.
In the night, he dragged it next to Bob’s bed.
He intended to be Bob’s best friend.
Pal was such a good dog, housebroken too;
Never made a mess or got in trouble.
He knew about newspapers, slippers and Frisbees;
And when Bob called, he ‘d come on the double.
Yes, Pal gave Bob’s life new purpose.
A special bond of friendship was cast.
And never again did Bob pray,
“Lord, let this day be my last.”
For twelve years, the very best of friends,
Together night and day;
And so it was, until one night,
Both quietly passed away.
The next morning, an old woman,
Tears welling in her sad and lonely eyes,
Brought flowers to her husband’s grave;
But there, to her surprise….
Stood an old dog beside the stone,
Thin an dirty, but he struck a handsome pose.
He whined as she approached, as if to say,
“I could use a friend, you know.”
He sat calmly as she took old flowers
And put fresh ones in their place.
He carefully sniffed the fresh ones,
Then turned and licked her face.
She smiled. “I had a dog when I was young...
a good one too. His name was Pal.”
Who would believe your slim elegant body would win my affection,
when you gracelessly step on toes? Your soft doe skin of cream
spotted brown, floppy ears I threaten to turn into gloves as a joke.
Through many chain jangle calls for walks where you race and lunge
and bark fighting for the right to be with me, how could I turn you away?
When you almost die I am ready to give you away to death, hating the sick
green puke, you become skinnier despite the surgery until finally
one simple shot brings you back to us alive, slurping our hands and faces.
Busy days of science and humanities and government tucked up in a chair,
I forgot you, but you begged let me even eat your apple. let me sit in your lap
but you’re so big now you don’t fit and don't like apple. Chocolate chips cookies, though, a whole batch scarfed from the table and then you wiggle and wag tail,
snarl, your teeth clenched when I offer just one more. We all know who is guilty,
not you, your innocence, your steadfast defense, says it is our family who has forgot.
Finally, it is too late. You hurt too bad, spine enflamed, barely able to walk
or eat. Tomorrow your last day. I pick up the chain, you race happy to join me
down the row of maples losing their last autumn leaves, where my brother and I lead you plodding like an old man, stopping to breathe, and I see stars in my eyes,
saying goodbye. Goodbye to the lady of our family, the Dalmatian Duchess
who loved us best, walked beside us through our childhood days like a guardian.
All these years
a hook of the leash
tail thumping against the floor
a splash of happiness out the door--
But the morning's heart is dashed
watching him sleep
when I leave
5/20/15 Submitted for Nette's Contest: "Septet II"
By Carrie Richards
A puppy I know who is now grown up
has a mature look and a fluffy look
She smiles and grins and shows your
It's wonderful to see such a grown and mature
puppy that is the way I see! Thank You for reading
my true story of a puppy
When I was little, I didn’t know what it was like to have a pet
Until the day my parents decided to bring Peanut home
I remember it well, out of all the dogs we saw,
Peanut was the one who stood out
A newborn puppy, so cute and innocent,
We knew she was the one
She had those sad puppy eyes,
And we saw that she had already had an effect on us
At first, she didn’t know what to think of us
We were strangers to her
Her first night, she was shy, a little bit scared,
But then she realized we were her family
In her younger years, she had such a playful spirit,
One that would make you smile
When one of us would come home from school or work,
Her energy of excitement exploded with happiness
What really made her happy was eating
She would want to do that all day
There would be times when after a long day
She would sit in a patch of sun that came in through a window
She loved the warm feeling of the sun when she rested
It always felt good to my parents and I,
When she would curl up and sleep right beside us,
Never leaving our side
Peanut was always very protective of us and her home,
Anybody she didn’t know, she would bark at until they went away,
Or until she got tired of barking
However, if the person she didn’t know had food with them,
They were her friend all of a sudden
Peanut was someone who had completed us as a family;
She made us happy—our first family pet
She was someone you could talk to, and she would listen
Many years with her, and we created so many good memories;
Ones that would make us laugh or make us smile
As the years went by, she started showing signs to us that she was getting older
Age ten, she started slowing down, her face became grey
Despite old age, there were some things that didn't change,
Like her wanting to eat or wanting to be with us
I do not know?
Instinct And Old Age
Young dog that wanders not
From the launch of dream filled
Moon call howls, it answers not
Sleeps alone, in carpet fields
Threads of grass and dreams of young
Rabbits, cushions, long green
Drapes on windows, memory lost
While widow wilts
Many years have passed me here
Sitting on this old mat
Like a speeding train
None of who have passed, never looked back
The rising sun
Has chased away the morning dew
And many time I wondered
Why my friends are so few
Hot days give way to the evening mist
Who will be by companion tonight?
I dread when the evening cometh
The wild dogs and I will fight again
Julie, was sitting by the window inside, away from the brisk winter breeze. She had just moved out west, when it began to freeze. When she wakes up in the morning, it's cold as ice there.
She thought it would be wise, being a writer, to take a little time off. She took a few sips of whiskey, to help get rid of her cough. She felt very, weary.
She dreaded the holidays, her husband Bill, had passed away. She began to weep. She never expected this to even happen. She wished she had passed away, too.
Julie heard a whimper and scratch at the door. It was wrinkles, her dog. He had white snow all over him. She went to the door to let him in. Julie then decided not to waste anymore time.
Julie decided to do a load of wash. She looked out the door, stood there to watch the wild animals. Then she figured while she had time, look too, for the movie, Star Wars.
Julie finally got the whole house cleaned, looked where the dog was, whispered, "love ya buddy" to him, "and will get through this together."
Our little dog is getting old,
a poodle black as night
or so he was when just a lad
but now he’s almost white.
He follows Joan around the house
he’s not the one to roam,
if she goes out and leaves him there,
he cries ‘til she gets home.
He is a sprightly little dog
’though age has made its call,
he’s nearly deaf and almost blind
so now runs into walls.
I hope when I’m as old as he,
in ‘human terms’ I mean,
I’ll still be bouncing full of joy
as our dogs always been.
So take a moral from our dog
however old you get,
if you let old age slow you down
it’s you who needs the vet!
Ivor G Davies