The subject was dogs we’ve cried over

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

2 thoughts on “The subject was dogs we’ve cried over

  1. This brought tears to my eyes, for Brownie, young Garry and for all the dogs I’ve loved and lost in my lifetime. Thank you.

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