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.
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
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,
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