Ever since I was a boy, I’ve loved dogs. Their innate ability to both disarm me with their deliriously joyful, manic behavior and sometimes annoy me – with the same behavior – in puzzling ways has always made them an ideal companion. Since October of 2017, my wife and I have been blessed with our adorable 12 lb. Havanese, Molly. More than one person has described Molly as “the perfect dog”, and who am I to disagree? She doesn’t shed, doesn’t yap, but she does cuddle incessantly, love your lap like no other animal on earth, and once she fixes you with those big, soulful eyes of hers, your heart instantly melts. My oldest son – not an ardent lover of dogs – even bestowed the ‘perfect dog’ moniker on her while visiting.
Where I’m headed is this: Around 2010, I wrote a poem, Dog Walk, based on real life dog walks. That was way before I knew Molly, but in many ways, it could be about any dog-loving owner and his/her favored canine. The poem is imbued with a whiff of cosmic spirituality like any sound dog/owner relationship should be. Above all, I wanted to cast a simple, shared activity in the highest possible terms, and I believe I succeeded. Enjoy!
In response to some nameless,
ancient impulse, they make the old,
familiar circuit once again. Less
like two dissimilar life forms than retooled,
itinerant evangelists, they quietly confess
and surely preach the dogma of love.
They do this to all dogs and their people;
past the bank whose lobby always smells
of old people; and forever the streets
are festooned with children who excitedly
gather ’round the humble two to receive
the love they can find nowhere else.
For it is given unto many to have
dogs, but few there are who love them.
On such a day as this, it is
remembered that the universe
began when he first held this
creature who loved him first; more
than he was worth. Since then,
the Pax Canis has reigned unfettered
by lesser considerations as they
walk the blessed, imperial earth.