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Lisa Kelley is away this week. In her stead, her dog, Baxter, submits a poem:

A Dog's Way

'Twas more than a decade ago when I,

a pup freshly minted and spry,

found the favor of a brown-eyed girl

who gathered me up and changed my world.

Her scent was soothing, her voice sweet.

Embarrassingly, I peed in the seat

as I rode away to country unknown

on the lap of my forever home.

And since that autumn, there's rarely been

a time that I can remember when

I wasn't near her, at work or play,

awaiting her moves in our own ballet.

We share the seasons, sorrows and joys.

I've my own Christmas stocking with toys

and tissue paper I shred at birthday events.

She made me give up pig's ears for Lent.

I was there when the cat caught ablaze.

(He's not as bright most other days.)

I was there for housework and cutting grass.

I was there when her mother passed.

I've licked the tears and chased the grays

I was there -- that's a young dog's way.

Now strands of silver play hide and seek

In her chestnut locks and widow's peak.

And our walks are a bit slower paced.

We agree -- there's no need to race.

But we still do all we used to do

back when our pairing was brand new.

She still makes up songs and sings off key

while I accompany her swimmingly.

I still want the right side of the chair.

And until she moves, I'll sit and stare.

She hunts for keys always disappearing.

I still find her uncoolness endearing.

These days I prefer the quietness of home,

relaxing with the cat, chewing on a bone

and waiting for the moment when Owner Dear

in my doorway does again appear.

Loos wrote diamonds are a girl's best friend.

Had she a dog, she'd have never penned

such words to paper or thoughts to mind

for diamonds take fire, pressure and time.

Our bond was formed in single heartbeat,

our eyes locked and our worlds complete.

And on her toes as she types, I will lay,

as long as I'm here -- that's an old dog's way.

NAN Our Town on 07/26/2018

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