I'm sort of in the process of just working on what is speaking to me at a particular moment. That's very common for me right now. --Bruce Springsteen, January 9th, 2014

Friday, June 15, 2018

“Born Special: a memoir in poetry”

Blogging Friends…. When you experienced a ‘ruff’ week {pun intended} from June 3rd, to June 7th because your ‘old lady’ Beagle mix, ‘Rosalita’ experienced health issues which are currently being treated? When she has been seemingly swiftly showing significant signs of old age? When today marks eight years since we euthanized my German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix, Shadow? It is an emotional month so far of missing Shadow. Over eight years ago, I created a ‘book’…. Shadow’s Life in rhyme!! Here it is. Peace out, Mary Lou

“Born Special: a memoir in poetry”

Dedicated to Shadow Sunshine, my beautiful German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix—thank-you—for ten years of Life shared together!! 

*****
My heart is like a mansion;
Where abundant love dwells in;
It’s designed with rooms aplenty;
For pets who have gone before me;
Your special place is deep inside;
When you die, that’s where you’ll abide;
Next door to Yoda and Goldie;
A place with lots of memories.
*****

I will never forget;
That afternoon we met;
How you ran outside to greet me;
As though knowing we’re family;
I’ll remember too;
How nature’s wind blew;
During church service the lights went out;
And I have absolute zero doubts;
That this was God weaving;
His amazing planning;
For their sanctuary went black;
Taking everybody aback;
So we fled toward their gym;
And sang beautiful hymns;
Then someone was giving away his canine;
Which is the story of when you became mine!!

*****
Previous owners named you Shadow;
After your tendency to follow;
Then one day we were walking;
While the bright sun was shining;
And as its beams touched your fur;
God bestowed me with wonder;
Because you were radiant;
Like Heaven’s angels brilliant;
And that is how you, my sweet canine;
Was given the middle name Sunshine!!

*****
You entered my existence at the age of three;
Bringing dominance aggression, a history;
And revealed your behavior problems right away;
While barking at other canines to have a say;
In diverse manners, you would change me;
For I learned responsibility;
Because between walking and training you;
I had myself one full-time job to do!!
Plus in diverse manners, you would teach me….
About loving unconditionally.

*****
Mama loves your German Shepherd ears;
Which are loyal and very sincere;
Plus that beautiful “blond” fur;
From the Golden Retriever;
Mama loves those German Shepherd eyes;
A deep brown which never criticize;
Plus that pink Golden Retriever nose;
You were born special and duly so!!

*****
Some dogs’ behavior problems are typical;
Not out-of-the-ordinary, not special;
Such as raiding our garbage cans;
Oh, you’re indeed furtive with those plans!!
Always lurking about, waiting;
To make sure we are not looking;
Plus when there’s food on the table;
You’re a thief, swift and capable!!

*****
Remember how you were aggressive;
Your loathing toward dogs was obsessive?
While yanking the leash on our walks;
You barked to give canines “tough talk”;
Then there was Ginger and Andy;
Who were your first best, best buddies;
You three played together;
Ran to chase each other;
What wonderful, fond memories;
We have with Ginger and Andy!!

*****
How can ten years pass by;
In the blink of an eye?
One split second you were three;
And the next you’re elderly!!
We’ve shared much Life together;
Good and bad have been weathered;
Meanwhile, we’ve grown ever closer;
Our bond getting even stronger;
And no matter where Life has taken me;
You have proven true to your loyalty.

*****
You possess countless pathological fears;
And have been our “Chicken Dog” all these years;
Whether it’s time for bathing;
Or there’s thunder and lightning;
You pant, tremble, pant, tremble;
And create drool puddles!!
Plus, when fireworks explode;
You will find a “safe” abode!!

*****
It’s been occurring;
This thing called aging;
And I think you look so wise;
With white encroaching your eyes;
This has happened oh, so suddenly;
Within a year, you’ve seemed elderly;
I know our time is almost here;
Soon your presence will disappear;
Oh, my heart is aching;
Breaking, breaking, breaking….

*****
Do pets know when their death is near;
Within your mind, has this been clear?
You once followed me;
Like a young puppy;
Assuring that I stay in eyes sight;
Constantly, throughout the day and night;
Over time, you stopped doing it;
For these insecurities quit;
And now you have begun your habit once more;
Of following me everywhere like before.

*****
Although your Life will soon end;
And to worlds unknown you’ll wend;
You’ve aged silently with grace;
And a smile on your face!!
You’ve always been happy-go-lucky;
With a cheerful personality;
Now I find you always smiling;
And even during old age, laughing.

*****
You are a creature wonderful;
Your love toward me indelible;
You’ve been the best dog in the world;
My faithful friend, my flawless girl;
Which nothing, not your last breath;
Nor inevitable death;
Can ever, ever, ever;
Depreciate or sever!!

*****
You chose me a decade ago;
Loyalties which didn’t outgrow;
I’ve been your Mama, your girl;
You are my sunshine, my world;
And I am eternally grateful;
For this gift of love incredible;
Because indeed you designated me;
A decision which did not have to be!!

*****
During that dreadful, dreadful night when you fell;
Nobody could predict death, no one could tell;
But it was such a hard collapse;
Did your hips quit on you, perhaps?
Trying hard to get up, this proved a losing fight;
So I stayed by your side nearly all through the night;
For ten years, you’ve been faithful toward me;
This was my time to show loyalty!!
Farewell, Shadow Sunshine, Farwell;
You’ve left lots of stories to tell!!
Wherever I go, you will be missed so.

*****
Note…. These are three ‘outtakes’ that did not make my ‘book’!! The first two poems will be repetitive…. Sorry, not sorry!!

*****
“My First Dog”
During a ruinous windstorm;
Providence was performed;
While we attended church;
Out blew the electricity;
In a windowless sanctuary;
Everyone rapidly evacuated;
Toward the proximate gym;
Employing generators, singing hymns;
While Dad conversed;
With his friend in need;
Of giving away this lovely crossbreed;
He proposed that we’d adopt Shadow;
Which is how I got my first dog!!

*****
For sixteen years I wanted a canine;
To proudly claim as mine;
Then we received my faithful friend;
Bound to portray loyal through the end;
Clement, gentle, patient with offspring;
Accepting “toddler abuse”, shrill screams, crying;
When Shadow is a mere memory;
Will I only recollect our positive stories?
Antisocial, dominant, belligerent toward dogs;
Furtively raiding garbages like hogs;
Yanking her leash, nearly dislocating my arm;
Causing minor injury, delivering harm;
Quite the odyssey we’ve travelled, she’s our wonderful companion!!

*****
“Scarlet Lake 2000”
During a drive toward Scarlet Lake;
Our camping trip about to partake;
The Chevy suburban brings complications;
Causing delayed anticipations;
We registered a hotel room inexpensive;
Stayed one night as tentative;
Dad tinkered with the vehicle’s engine;
While we furtively snuck Shadow in;
Assuring that she lie noiselessly;
Like well-behaved dogs should be;
An event, our motive for arriving late;
A memory impossible to duplicate.




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