Lori Grosser Rhoden
Member Rara Avis
Fair to middlin'
Call it separation anxiety,
Call it naughty dog.
Last night Winston
out did himself.
He got into the living room,
the bedroom and bathroom trash.
Somewhere in that glorious garbage
he found something
that did not set well.
He did not get up to greet us
when we got home.
He did not come when we shook
the bag of doggie treats.
He lay on his pillows on the floor
at the foot of the bed,
flinching like he was going to get beaten.
I petted and cooed and coaxed
that notion out of his head.
When I went into the bathroom,
he followed in after me with a wobbly gait.
Whatís this, I wondered, a stroke?
Did he find a pill on the floor?
He went and laid back down
as if to say, Iíll see you in the morning.
In the middle of the night,
Winston wakes me pawing at the bed.
He wants me to lift him up
so he can sleep with us.
Must be feeling better, I think to myself.
I wake up at four and as is my routine,
I pick up Winston and carry him to the couch.
He is very lethargic, doesnít want breakfast
or to go outside to do his business.
Something is amiss with my dog!
All I can do is pet and love on him
and shed a tear knowing there is a limit
to what all we can do for him.
I ask him again if he wants to go outside
and he barely lifts his head.
So I pick him up and take him out
and down the porch steps to the grass.
He takes a few steps walking just fine.
He squats for quite a while
then takes a few more steps
and does his other duty
and prances away.
He bounds up the porch steps
like it was yesterday,
trots in the house
making a bee-line for breakfast.
I have obviously just witnessed a miracle.
Iím too relieved to be upset
that he scared me half to death.
Thank God it looks like he is going to be okay.
That put the twang on my heart strings.
My heart was breaking just at the thought
of having to put him down.
And that thought is never very far away
as old as Winston is.
They say that the best things about dogs
is that they love you unconditionally.
And however much that maybe true,
quite the opposite is the best part for me.
The unconditional I feel for my dog
I express unrestrained affectionately.
I can mush and gush on him
in ways my man would never stand for.
What could be better for the soul
than something that brings love out in us,
even if it does get into the wastebaskets
once in a while.