Ozzie: Tribute to an Old Dog

© eAlisa, Bigstock.com


Love lives in an absurd little dog,
A barrel held up by toothpicks.
I imagine he has an accent,
Scottish and thick, difficult for the untrained ear
to discern the words,
And he’s yelling at passersby to get off of his lawn.
Get out of here, you hooligans!
Watch out for the lilacs!
Often times, his lip curls up,
Making me wonder if he’s channeling Elvis,
Or smelling a particularly putrid odor,
pleasing to an old dog.
He’s fourteen.

This love affair has lasted longer than my children have been living,
Longer than I have been married.
He smells to high heaven,
Like dead worms, wiggly teeth, and frito feet.
It’s a juxtaposition of awful and comfort that
I will be lost without when it no longer wakes me at 5 AM.
Cats have nine lives, how many are reserved for a faithful,
Beautiful, brown-eyed, warty boy, black with a grizzled muzzle,
Who sings to me every day when I come home?

He’s nodded sagely to hooded death,
And ducked the scythe’s blow three times. 
Alas, it is not to be four.
And I will be raw and aching,
And he will be waiting, in the beyond,
Until we are together again.

For surely, if heaven is a place,
He will have a spot reserved. 
If I’m lucky enough to earn my entry,
There he will greet me with the same
Howling song he sang to me today,
And my heart will once again be whole.