...for Ralph McTell
He was my closest friend and confidante
for over eighteen years.
I called him simply Brown Dog.
From a puppy to the present
he was always by my side.
Chasing rabbits through the pasture
or the sticks that I would throw,
he was the essence of vitality and joy.
As he aged, he would lie down at my feet,
an Old Brown Dog, his horizon now my yard,
limping, riddled with arthritis, he was clearly in great pain.
Today would be the day.
With a heavy heart, my shotgun cradled
in my arm, I tugged gently on his leash
and we headed to the pasture where
in better days he frolicked, free as a bird.
The sky was overcast as I settled him to ground.
"Goodbye, my friend," I whispered, as I went
to pull the trigger. But then suddenly a flash
of fur! a rabbit dashed from hiding and darted
into view. My companion broke free! bounding
t'ward his prey, his pain all but forgotten.
As he closed in, he took one final leap...
and fell in a heap to the earth, still and silent.
He had died the way he wanted,
on his own terms, free again, at last.
I buried him there, and wept.
I returned to his grave
with a granite headstone
which bore the inscription:
"To my Brown Dog, best friend and confidante,
thanks for the memories.
Rest In Peace.
His body cringed and whined in a terrible anguish,
Counted gasps of last breaths foreboding his hopeless waiting,
His master whom he longed to see before his soul will finally be freed,
Will no longer return and their memories in her mind may even fade.
It was his second time that he had been caught by stranger’s fatal decoy,
The crux of the matter was her absence, so who could save him once more?
Happy were the days when he was with her…given foods, bones and toy,
On his first food poisoning, he was revived by her - such a great joy!
His halcyon days since puppyhood were wistful things to remember,
So naughty he was… poop here- pee there but he was patiently cleaned by
He closed his eyes on his baths to feel his body scrub and nail brushing,
So tidy, yet he must stay off the house while she was in the office, working.
He had encountered accidents many times as he roamed around,
By his dog’s name, he was so resilient in his master’s care and love;
To give back all the pet’s love and compassion, he closely guarded her,
Going out at night, he didn’t care the many dogs that barked to hinder.
He was a real smart dog, looked like a trained one by his master,
He sent her to the bus station, then went back to fetch her after work;
When time came that his master has to leave and work abroad,
She was forced to leave him and he was entrusted to their landlord.
Who could save him from danger and death for the second time?
As his breaths slowly drenched, his hope crumbled in a quarter dime;
No one could really replace the sympathy and care of a real master,
No one could no longer save the life of a very dear smart dog, Saver.
Giving a last kind gaze to his pseudomaster seated beside him,
As if begging, “ Convey to my real master that I’ll forever be her loyal friend,”
After lifting his right foreleg, he slowly laid it down back to the ground,
Finally, on to his eternal rest from all sleepless nights in guarding his house.
November 19, 2013 10.15. pm
©2013by Leonora Galinta
silence when i open the door
silence when i close it again
no one to make a noisy fuss
no one to welcome me in
no one barks at the mailman
no one brings the little ball
no one chomps the squeaky toy
but love still comes to memories call
The day my dear dog died
I was bereft;
At my very core I felt so hollow.
I cried and cried and cried,
for joy had left . . .
and gone with joy was my sweet Apollo.
We drove and I looked up
and saw the sky
the color blue that I remember when
I walked him as a pup,
those days that I
will miss so much. How happy I was then!
As from the graveyard, we
had then set out,
there burst through clouds of grey- sun’s rays of gold!
We watched amazedly;
there was no doubt
that heaven greeted dear Apollo’s soul.
October 25, 2013/ For the Elegy Poetry Contest of Broken Wings
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.
Reminisce of Southern streets honey suckle vines, Magnolia air
strolling my Pepe down old streets , flowers wild growing everywhere ~
What was in that carriage as I walked proudly down a sidewalk ?
My poodle Pepe, a blue bonnet tied, Pepe sat up faithfully, bonnet on his head .
spectators driving by with smiles , the girl with a baby poodle was the talk ~
On a old plantation porch calling Pepe ? Pepe come home ? I patiently await .
Where was my furry lamb with silk black curls ? My puppy needed his walk .
Told by my parents after several cries many weeks straight ~
~ For they knew of my Poodles Fate ~
"Come inside , Pepe will come back ." He would not come home , Winter cold.
Parents hearing tireless cries , the truth was reveled , In a shed Pepe died.
My Mother told me what no Parent wants to share with a child of five years old ~
My Poodle had been in a shed with my brother and Dad , curiosity he always had.
A ladder had fallen on him , taking him away . Calling for Pepe the same day ...
We buried my Pepe , wrapped in blanket with his bonnet, in the back yard.
~ A cross made of branches , brick inscribed " here lies Pepe " bouquet by side. ~
I can not explain this love that left my heart broken , tireless nights I cried.
Remember your days with fondness
The days you romped in the park
The times you were cross
When running off was a lark
He was a skinny nervous runt
That your love and tender care put right
Was loved unconditionally
As he loved you with all his might.
He was old and full of problems
Kept going for you that’s all
Being his best pal and letting go
Was for you a massive sacrifice call
Remember him full of bounce
Tongue hanging out because he’d run
Was that a smile on his face
To him you were his lifes sun
His mistress his best friend.
Remember Kedo with a smile
Penned on October 25th 2013
We take turns stabbing
with our shovel at rocky clay dirt
until the cut's deep
enough for what little remains
of our family dog.
Warm wet salt drops--
on my tongue as
I sip wine from a fragile glass
Stare through to hawks
swimming in October winds
circling hills full of Diablo
full of still,
Damn these days of separation,
we both react out of desperation.
Where simple logic is thrown aside,
and dog eat dog reeks of self pride.
Trying to survive with no obligations,
loosing my mind knowing my past fixations.
My life had purpose my life had definition,
both of you my responsibility despite my minds condition.
I gave it my all almost always,
despite our differences lingering in the hallways.
Guilt-ridden I am, and don't know how else to feel,
wishing you'd disarm your anger at me so we can heal.
Can you understand that we're both hurting?
Both subjecting our hearts to perverting.
Are you going to hate me? Or let me back in?
The fracture of our hearts, proof of original sin.