The very reincarnation of our childhood dog,
Part pit bull, part beagle
She snarled at Gin and I
When we patted her in the shelter visiting room.
Made us laugh so loud
Our laughter rang between cinder blocks
Legs-barely 3 inches long and hefty mongrel body.
But how that dog could run
Shelter workers laughing as they narrated how
Two weeks were needed to catch her by baiting her with food
Fried Chicken and fired burritos
Chips and salsa.
It stuck in her mind. Those two weeks
her hunger in life, profound.
Mexican food was her mainstay for 15 years.
And she ours.
We went through an assortment of names
Oxford, Boxy, Rocks
Settling on Rox.
Which quickly evoked Roxzannnnnne.
(In deference to Sting)
As she sped without regard to danger to
Yet another garbage dumpster
Or when she ate the armrests off Gin’s new green Honda
Terriers are mostly teeth and bark
Convincing in disguise as Doberman Pinschers
And as lap dogs
Often, it seems, bred for one sterling day.
(like the day two vagabonds tried to get in Ginny’s car
And met the pit bull part)
Those two were of gyspy blood
Rox preferring car over kennel
Except for an occasional flight of will.
Our dogs become our children
When our children are absent.
To our dogs, We become gods.
They ease the lonely days
Listening to our deepest fears
All the while
an indelicate human versus dog year formula
They are merely rentals
Yet, always the optimists
We find ourselves
In animal shelter parking lots
For our hearts to heal
Ode to Roxzanne 2002-2017