16 July 2013
Lines To An Old Dog And To Cookie, Who Is Dying As I Write This
Hail Cookie, family pet and lover
of ice cream and stewed soup tomatoes
You liked cheese and licked obligingly
At the head of a foaming beer when it was offered to you.
Hail Cookie, you liked sex so much
You had two litters of puppies, but
Motherhood was not your thing
And you were happiest when they were gone.
Hail Cookie, you were the powderpuff puppy
Snarling and biting and it was cute
Because you were so little, but then
You grew up to be a grumpy dog even as you loved us.
Hail Cookie, even as you die
You have to do it your way, nothing else
Will suit but being at home, people
You love stroking you around the clock.
It's a good way for a dog to die,
This deathbed gathering, this praising of your skills,
Such a good dog, who's a good dog,
Your tired tail thumps, you search out my mother's face.
Here with the person you love the most,
I hear of you holding on, you refuse to succumb.
Dear dog, old dog, good dog, bad dog,
Giver away of my breaking curfews and
Teller of good character in boys I dated.
We will scatter, the family, after you die,
And you hold the dubious honour,
Of being our last Family Pet,
Go where the good dogs go, rumble on
To your reward, with other beloved pets.
Dog, you great and noble beast.
Update: Cookie is gone, she had great pain in her last moments, so we had to put her out of her misery. She was buried in her favourite spot in the park, and was surrounded, till the very last minute, by familiar faces and people she loved.