We had to take our dottled old dog south with us for Anna and Dean’s wedding last weekend, as it didn’t seem fair on anyone to leave her behind. So she had a decent enough bed in the back of the car for the two nights we were away.  I can report I thought I was going to be stuck on Portobello beach forever and not be able to join the fun as she flatly refused to walk back east towards the car and determinedly continued west along the sand – and would be doing so still, I believe, if I hadn’t manhandled her blind, stone-deaf and altogether bewildered person back to safety. We never realised dogs could get Alzheimer’s & hope it isn’t too catching.


Last Dog

When the last dog, old friend, like you
is a dusty old rug on the floor
a rug to be sure less
two dimensional than rugs ought to be
with a thoroughly unruggish way
of starting up whenever I step over

When the last dog I say has lived
out its rug-days and gone for good
why then at last we’ll remember again
who first gave us the chance of speech
who taught us inhibition, loyalty
clowning around, who licked sense
into our babies, and good resistance

The scent of carrion will be gone from our lives
and if I’ve stepped in shit once it’s been
a hundred times, or twitching
legs stretched out and
the sudden snarl as I stumbled
yet it was never, you great galoot
look where you put your clumsy feet
but sorry master it was my fault sorry

When the last dog’s gone, old friend
our lives will be better, for we’ll establish
true democracies, there’ll be no more
master and servants and all the days
of fugitives will be forgotten
we’ll splash upstream for the sheer
joy of it, when we listen out

On a clear moonlit night
it’ll be for the big wild wolves and not
the frantic baying of bloodhounds;
there will be no more chains, or steel gates.
Oh my dear, when you stagger to your feet
shake yourself and fall over again
I can only think please die, die soon.


1 Comment

Filed under Writing

One response to “Dog-Days

  1. That’s so very sad and so very good and true and beautiful.

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