sudden breeze –
the dog sniffs the hisses
of a rattle snake
Calvin says, “Hey, that’s me in the poem. I remember that day well. We stood overlooking the creek, in tall grasses, poppies blooming, puffy white clouds in a periwinkle sky, but I wax poetic. It was more rustic than that. All of a sudden I hear a rattle. I freeze. Every nerve in my body is on alert, ready to respond, to sniff the intruder, and then bay my guts out. I have the victim in my sight. Who cares that he’s slithering straight at me, flicking his tongue, and rattling furiously. This is drama. This is adventure. This is what I was made for. You spoiled it by screaming and yanking me away.”
“I saved your life,” I said.
“You killed the joy.”
“You’d be a dead dog,” I said.
“I’d have gone down smiling.”
“I’d have gone home crying,” I said.
“Aw. You do love me.”
Did you get any responses for a new owner?
They’d be crazy to take you on.
You’re spoiled. Pampered. Set in your ways.
Opinionated. (That’s an understatement.) Stubborn. (Another understatement.)
You don’t listen. Obey is a foreign word to you.
You hate baths.
You eat too much.
Your breath smells.
Those are the things I love best about you.
You’re a full blown personality in fur and floppy ears.
Life would be dull without you.
Walks would be a bore without you tugging at your leash. I could let you off-leash, but that’s where the obey thing comes into play. I’ve given you plenty of lessons on how to come back to me when I call, but you usually have other plans, and scare the hell out of me while you disappear under fences, through neighbors’ backyards, and across streets in search of that wild thing your nose tells you is in the neighborhood. (It’s a child in a dirty diaper.)
You think somebody else will put up with your antics? Ha!
So you stick to your opinions and I’ll stick to mine.
We’ll continue to get along just fine.
Calvin says, “Touché. How’s that for a foreign word, eh? All right. I’ll cancel my ad in the classifieds.”