Never the same

Poor Yellow Dog has never been the same
Since he was senselessly attacked this summer
By a wandering chow. Who chomped his back leg
Like an ear of corn. Yellow Dog never saw what hit him
Seems he blames me.
A day spent in the hospital felt like abandonment
Post Traumatic stress disorder
Returning from his puppy shelter rescue
His eyes did not see me for days
His ears closed to years spent training
Hand signals and whistles.

And then there were the pills
Dogs can’t use the slugabunchawater technique
They have to be cajoled, forced, shoved, pried
He learned the silent forebodings of pills
My rigid body language as I tried to do what was best for him
Ease pain. Bring rest.
In vain. He whimpered at the door like a lost child.
His canine mind searched for the cause of his dilemma

I guessed that people might be like this.
Never the same. After
The Wreck, The Baby. The Cancer. The Heart Attack.
Divorce. Onset. Beginning. The End.
Oh the loss. Loss. Loss. Loss of love.

And so it appears for Yellow Dog
As well as I can think like a dog.
He doesn’t remember the attack
Only the change in me.
My fear of losing him. Of being inadequate to solve pain
My own fears of his still sharp teeth
As I nervously shoved pills down his throat.
Long days without his customary walks and bike rides in the basket

He reads it all as loss.
It overwhelms his fuzzy head.
He forgets to test my blood sugars
To steady my own quirky imbalance

He cries when the leash touches his healed leg.
He screams in terror when caught up in his blanket.
When he bumps into the opened door.
He wants to fight now against the dogs in the alley
Raging against their chain links
He retraces over and over the site of his attack
He’s not letting this one go.

So, I guess, is our pattern, too.
Unless I read too much of me
As I smuggle his tablet into a slice of cheese
And he whines endlessly at the threshold.
I have to ask myself, he’s not the same as what exactly?

I decided, mostly he doesn’t laugh as much

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