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  • garrylcox

The subject was dogs we’ve cried over

Updated: Jul 20

Ode to Brownie

Dear Brownie Just a line to let you know you were the best dog ever lived because you were my dog because you were my friend I thought you might want to know that you were my last dog, too My very last Mom said God took you Dad said poor judgment did you in You did love chasing cars, you know So I figured if God took you Only God could give me another dog and he never did

Some might say you had a hard-scrabble life never allowed in the house unless it was freezing outside never had a house of your own Dad built you a lean-to and said it had to do You never got to hang around the dinner table and beg for scraps like some dogs were allowed to do Mom said back on the farm animals had to earn their keep and pets should fend for themselves So I always saved you some supper and fed you on the porch

Dad was always saying I should tie you up at night or whenever we would leave Neighbors said I should have you on a leash The only time I ever saw you mad was when I tied a rope around your neck and tried to pull you for a walk I gave that up soon enough Anyway who wants a dog that won’t just follow you around because it wants to

We did buy you a nifty leather collar though with Brownie stenciled on a little brass plate That was just in case you got lost a finder could read your name and figure you must be Garry’s Brownie

You were never much for showing off Words like ‘fetch’ and ‘sit’ and ‘roll over’ just weren’t in your vocabulary But whenever I would talk to you your eyes would focus on my face and you would listen like you understood

Then there was the fun we had Remember when I tried to push you in the tire swing And you were too scared to jump out When the swing died down you just hung there like a trussed up ring of sausage You were better in the wagon though Standing like a general watching his troops go by

Remember Halloween The time I took you to an outdoor party And us kids all bobbed for apples I guess you felt like one of us But it did create a ruckus when you slipped between me and a pal of mine and glommed onto an apple for yourself trapping it against the side of the tub like you’d been doing it all you life Then taking off like a thief leaving me to bear your scolding

But best of all I think for both of us were the hours we spent exploring the mystery of our secret woods Me searching for Indians and lost gold and maidens in distress And you the mighty hunter chasing anything that moved including fish floating near the surface of the pond I believe to this day you could have caught one if you’d had more stealth than splash

Some say you were a mongrel dog no lineage to your name but I say you come from a long line of Brownies I’ve seen you through the years, white with big brown splotches Or the other way around Hanging with a boy or girl

Companion dogs of the highest order And you were my Brownie I was proud to be your kid I’ll remember you forever Will you remember me?

The Bard of Appanoose

See more poems @ garrycox.com

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