Dog days

This challenge, to write about an animal companion, was posted by  in Poetics  at the D’Verse Poets Pub.

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.

American Cocker Spaniel

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

escape-hound.  Beauty,

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.





This entry was posted in Animals, beauty, dVerse, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Dog days

  1. What a terrible way to grow up… I am glad for the brief time you had together.

  2. You have the remarkable ability to not only convey how much he meant to you but also the insight into who he truly was. Beautiful!

  3. Sherry Marr says:

    I am sad for those years in a garage, sad for your father’s injury, so glad you rescued him. He didnt have the easiest life, and then cancer. Glad he had those years with you. I felt sad thinking of you scattering his ashes along his favourite walk. You must have cried.

  4. This poem brought tears to my eyes. As you may recall Scooter reminded me of my childhood dog,, a rusty colored Spaniel mix. He would go with my brother and me on our bicycle adventures. Running ahead and coming back to make sure we were still traveling. He always ran twice or three times the distance as we covered.. A wonderful friend, and pet adored by our family. I remember how sad we felt when he died. He had a nice long life and was a bit of a legend locally. I loved him and I still love telling stories about his macho personality.

  5. calmkate says:

    sounds like you healed each other … true companionship 🙂

  6. I was thinking of you so vividly as I wrote this. Remember what an awful time we had getting that cookie tin full of ashes open! Love you sweet friend!

  7. Lynnette Eldredge says:

    Don’t think I ever knew how you came by Scooter. I just remember him as a good walk buddy, along the ditch. You were meant for each other, I guess.

  8. msjadeli says:

    Christine, I love your unflinching look at that beautiful little bad boy. Unfortunately too many humans are much too careless with their pets needs and wants. He had a happy time with you, and now he’s free ❤

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