WHEN I AM OLD
When I am old...
I will wear soft gray sweatshirts...
and a bandana over my silver hair...
and I will spend my social security checks on my dogs.
I will sit in my house on my well-worn chair
and listen to my dogs breathing.
I will sneak out in the middle of a warm summer night
and take my dogs for a run, if my old bones will allow...
When people come to call, I will smile and nod
as I show them my dogs...
and talk of them and about them...
...the ones so beloved of the past
and the ones so beloved of today...
I will still work hard cleaning after them,
mopping and feeding them and whispering their names
in a soft loving way.
I will wear the gleaming sweat on my throat,
like a jewel, and I will be an embarrassment to all...
especially my family...
who have not yet found the peace in being free
to have dogs as your best friends...
These friends who always wait, at any hour, for your footfall...
and eagerly jump to their feet out of a sound sleep,
to greet you as if you are a God,
with warm eyes full of adoring love and hope
that you will always stay,
I'll hug their big strong necks...
I'll kiss their dear sweet heads...
and whisper in their very special company....
I look in the mirror... and see I am getting old....
this is the kind of person I am...
and have always been.
Loving dogs is easy, they are part of me.
Please accept me for who I am.
My dogs appreciate my presence in their lives...
they love my presence in their lives...
When I am old this will be important to me...
you will understand when you are old,
if you have dogs to love too.
Another bowl gets put away,
One less to feed tonight.
Another hound dog to the Bridge,
With guiding candlelight.
It hurts to see them go away.
Why do we have to part?
Each one that passes through my home
Leaves bruises on my heart.
And then the email comes,
Or sometimes it’s by phone.
There’s an old one at the shelter.
No one will take her home.
Is there room at House of Puddles?
Do you have an extra meal?
As I take the bowl back off the shelf,
My heart begins to heal.
AN ODE TO MILKBONE DOG BISCUITS
Oh, Milkbone, lovely Milkbone,
you are the best by far!
In the land of doggie snacks
you are my shining star!
I love to hold you 'tween my paws
and sniff your meaty savor.
And when I sink my teeth in you
I love your crunchy flavor!
Oh, Milkbone, lovely Milkbone,
for you I'll beg and whine
until they open up that box
and I begin to dine!
How many Milkbones I have had
there simply is no telling.
They make my teeth all sparkly clean
and keep my breath from smelling!
Oh, Milkbone, lovely Milkbone,
I'm crazy, so it seems.
'Cause every time I sleep at night
I chase you in my dreams!
I'll have to have my Milkbones
every day until I die
and then I'll have more Milkbones
in my home beyond the sky.
So Milkbone, lovely Milkbone,
no other snack can beat you.
That's why I wrote this, just to say:
it's such a treat to eat you!
-Dusty the Passmore Poodle
AN ODE TO HOP
There is a house where love abounds
A house of Senior Basset Hounds
There are no walkers or depends
Just lots of happy Basset friends
We are the old ones who have turned gray
And now get to live another day
We all are happy and well fed
We even have our very own bed
Our Mom works hard, it costs a lot
And we are grateful for the things we got
If you could help we would be glad
That no other hound would be sad
So check the purse strings of your heart
Just a few dollars could be a start
We all will thank you with a great Arooooo
The House Of Puddles and our Mom too.
-Ken Johnson (bassethoundtown.com poet)
The Sweetest Dog
One by one, they pass by my cage,
Too old, too worn, too broken, no way.
Way past his time, he can't run and play.
Then they shake their heads slowly and go on their way.
A little old man, arthritic and sore,
It seems I am not wanted anymore.
I once had a home, I once had a bed,
A place that was warm, and where I was fed.
Now my muzzle is gray, and my eyes slowly fail.
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn't belong,
I got in their way, my attitude was wrong.
Whatever excuse they made in their head,
Can't justify how they left me for dead.
Now I sit in this cage, where day after day,
The younger dogs get adopted away.
When I had almost come to the end of my rope,
You saw my face, and I finally had hope.
You saw thru the gray, and the legs bent with age,
And felt I still had life beyond this cage.
You took me home, gave me food and a bed,
And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head.
We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low,
You love me so dearly, you want me to know.
I may have lived most of my life with another,
But you outshine them with a love so much stronger.
And I promise to return all the love I can give,
To you, my dear person, as long as I live.
I may be with you for a week, or for years,
We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears.
And when the time comes that God deems I must leave,
I know you will cry and your heart, it will grieve.
And when I arrive at the Bridge, all brand new,
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you.
And I will brag to all who will hear,
Of the person who made my last days so dear.
WHOEVER SAID "LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE" DIDN'T SLEEP WITH DOGS
The first thing you discover when you bring a dog onto your bed is the striking difference in weight between an alert, awake dog and a dog at rest.
Rule #1: The deeper the sleep the heavier the dog.
Most people who sleep with dogs develop spinal deformities rather than rent the heavy equipment necessary to move their snoring canines to a more appropriate part of the bed. Cunning canines steal precious space in tiny increments until they have achieved the center position on the bed - with all covers carefully tucked under them for safekeeping. The stretch and roll method is very effective in gaining territory. Less subtle tactics are sometimes preferred. A jealous dog can worm his way between a sleeping couple and, with the proper spring action from all four legs, shove a sleeping human to the floor.
Rule #2: Dogs possess superhuman strength while on a bed.
As you cling to the edge of the bed, wishing you had covers, your sweet pup begins to snore at a volume you would not have thought possible. Once that quiets down, the dog dreams begin. Yipping, growling, running, kicking. Your bed becomes a battlefield and playground of canine fantasy. It starts out with a bit of "sleep running", lots of eye movement and then, suddenly, a shrieking howl blasted through the night like a banshee wail. The horror of this wake-up call haunts you for years. It's particularly devastating when your pup insists on sleeping curled around your head like a demented Daniel Boone cap.
Rule #3: The deeper the sleep, the louder the dog.
The night creeps on and you fall asleep in the 3 inches of bed not claimed by a dog. The dog dreams quiet slightly and the heap of dog flesh sleeps - breathing heavily and passing wind. Then, too soon, it's dawn and the heap stirs. Each dog has a distinctive and unpleasant method of waking the pack. One may position itself centimeters from a face and stare until you wake. The clever dog obtains excellent results by simply sneezing on your face, or they could romp all over your sleeping bodies - or the ever-loving insertion of a tongue in an unsuspecting ear.
Rule #4: When the dog wakes - you wake.
So, why do we put up with this? There's no sane reason. Perhaps it's just that we're a pack and a pack heaps together at night - safe, contented, heavy and loud.
A LETTER TO DOGS & CATS
The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.
Dear Dogs and Cats: The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.
The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It Is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.
The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.
One more thing, staring at me while I eat to try to direct my mind to give you my food will not work (usually). I am too old and too tired. Go stare at the kids. They are younger and more susceptible to mind control. If you don't believe me, notice how they all dress alike so they can be individuals.
Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:
TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PETS:
They live here. You don't.
If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.
Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
- eat less
- don't ask for money all the time
- are easier to train,
- normally come when called,
- never ask to drive the car,
- don't hang out with drug-using people,
- don't smoke or drink,
- don't want to wear your clothes,
- don't have to buy the latest fashions,
- don't need a gazillion dollars for college and
if they get pregnant, you can sell their children