I have to admit I loved Scooter’s presence, but pets are dependents who never grow-up and move away, until they die, which sucks. My mom used to call pets “little slaves” because they have so little power, are so beholden to the whims of people. I took Scooter in because I knew the pound would kill him. In those days there was no animal shelter and the pound was stuffed to the gills with abandoned animals.
I learned a lot about human nature and about myself from that dog. it was like having a magic mirror that reflected all the unpleasant things about myself. I called him my shadow-puppet. His saving grace was his good looks- He was picture perfect – silky golden hair (once a month after a trip to the groomer), soft curls adorning long ears and feathery plumes lining his back legs. Not to mention big brown eyes he used to greater effect any movie star. Scooter was a ten. People fell for it every time.
Scooter was a bad dog
ruined by too many years
locked down by working owners
five days out of seven
in an un-heated or cooled garage.
My dad, who had a soft spot
for Cocker Spaniels, took him in
hoping for companionship,
but Scooter was no one’s buddy.
Patience gave out the day that dog
toppled my six-foot father by running
round and round his ankles
with the leash… Three stitches
later it was off the pound
till yours truly took him home.
I didn’t want that bad boy.
He was a greedy, disobedient
his only redeeming feature.
But we recognized the rebel
in each other. He suited me.
I admired his intelligence,
his indifference, his independence
Scooter might sell his body
for any kind of tidbit going,
but his soul was his own.
He died young, of lung cancer.
(I blame those years in a garage).
His ashes are scattered along
the public path we used to walk,
over the grass, the dust, stream,
free to fly wander at will.