over time.


Little Spotted Yellow Dog

Is playing into overtime.

He’s only 7

49 in human years

but I haven’t told him.


His stomach aches.

He searches among garden herbs for his own remedy

Eating a strange serrated leaf with blue bell flowers

I’ve told him that it might be poisonous

He acts like I haven’t told him


Yellow Dog has Narrowing Airway.

A genetic terrier illness like chronic bronchitis

I knew when I brought him home from the shelter as a pup

That time was not on his side.

He doesn’t know he has it. I haven’t told him.
Brett the Vet reminds me to keep him cool.

Avoid heat and stress.

But Yellow Dog suntans most every day, anyway.
I watch him closely

in the Dog Days of August

he’s always anxious for a run about the alleyways

But mostly nowadays, he rides home

tongue bright red and eyes popping with fatigue.

Seated among  cans and trash we pick up

in the basket behind my tricycle.
He coughs
When the dust rolls, when it’s humid,

when it’s cold, if I vacuum, if I clean.

I have told him to take his medicine.

He pretends he can’t hear.
Arthritis forms along  his hips already.
He sleeps on the cold hard brick
Just under the threshold of the door
In hopes
I might step out occasionally
To play a little soccer

He stands up on his back legs

And begs for a game
Even though I have told him,

These habits
Aggravate his cough and knees.

I’ve told him to sleep on sheepskin

We bought him at The GoodWill

I have told him everything else

My fears. My secrets.

How I worry that I can’t balance when I walk

without his Red Leash gripped tight.

My foot hurts worse after surgery 8 years ago

That  neighbors laugh at us

That I am not positive our trash

Really gets recycled.

about Climate change.

And  it seems peculiarly cold this month.


As I open the Red Door

He rises slowly from red bricks

Smiling and laughing awkwardly

When I stumble over him

For the ten thousandth


Dogs can’t smile
But I haven’t told him that, yet,  either.



  1. duke is almost at 10yrs. now. Yellow Dog younger chronologically. yes they smile as wide as Montana. because that is just the way it is. He is always true blue for you! stay well …

  2. He’s apparently happier not knowing–he might even think he is walking you for your health. It looks to me as if he smiles well. I’m smiling at you both.

    1. Ya, I’m thinking he’s saying,”oh this ball thing seems to make her happy. I’ll do that again. She never seems to get tired of that game. “

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