The gift of an old dog

Through slightly cataracted eyes

 A glint of happiness flashes

As I reach for the leash

That hangs from a hook

On the back of the door


Your nails

Plastic-like clicking

on the hard wood floor

less sprightly than it used to be

but still, I associate that sound with joy

and I suppose I always will


We’ve engaged in our daily routine

For nearly a decade now

the wag of your tail

a little slower

your teeth tanning with age

are rounded and smoother


from pearly whites

to tiger’s eye

they tell the tale

of you and I


The pace has slowed

(for both of us)

but you still relish the ritual

Nose to the ground

Intently sniffing clover and dirt

Thistle and weed

The base of every tree and mailbox

a puzzle of smells

as you try to solve the

mystery of the previous day’s events


I used to tug at your leash

after a minute or two

 when you were younger

And I was less patient


measuring my time

In meetings

and phone calls

Not frisbees

and thrown balls


But today I give you

all the time you desire

Because I don’t know

how many more walks

we have left in the bank

and a tug now

seems unwarranted

bordering on criminal


Sometimes the wind kicks up

And you raise your head

Towards that gift-bearing breeze

wistfully smiling

it seems to me


When we get back

you drink cool water from your bowl

Find your bed

which has been warmed

by the afternoon sun

And lie down


Tired and content

You close your eyes

then open them

and then close them again

slower and slower

eyes open, eyes shut

 until finally

 you settle into a rhythmic rest

I will miss you when you’re gone

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