Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Beloved Dusty

When you were a pup
you froliced in open fields
and feather pillows,
teethed on my shoes
and legs of wooden tables.
In the summer
the kids dressed you up.
In winter, you shed your thick coat, you sweet, confused Spaniel-mix.
Now, as you snooze through old age
may you be blessed
with a field of dreams to romp in,
the wind always blowing against your face,
and the thrill of finally catching that elusive squirrel.
Lay down your weary head and snooze. Rest.
Sleep peacefully,
Dusty, old girl.
I was an eighteen year old newlywed. I spotted her in the pet department of Arlan's, a local department store similar to K-Mart. Her litter mates were in a cage; she was an escapee. I watched her rip open a bag of puppy chow and lead her brothers and sisters to the buffet. I knew this feisty little girl had personality, and I knew she was the one for me.
She was my first "baby". We paid our last seven dollars for her. She gave me fifteen years of devotion, and I gave her my heart.
This is a slightly modified version of a poem that was published in On the Edge Poetry and Prose Anthology, Missouri State Poetry Society, published by Fountain City Publishing (2008).


Lisa Ricard Claro said...

What a beautiful, shiny coat! And a happy face. This is obviously a waggy-tail pooch. :)

Susan said...

Awwwww, that was a sweet post, and sad, Linda. May Dusty romp forever in a field of flowers. Susan

Linda O'Connell said...

She was such a good dog. She listened better than my children. Her puppy days were trying, but baby days are exhausting for any new mom.

Linda O'Connell said...

Even though she went blind at the end of her life, she could smell me peeling her favorite treat, oranges, and come find me three rooms away to get a slice. She was a good girl!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Hi again! When I first visited the poem was not up, only the photos. I'm glad I checked back or I would have missed out. Beautiful words for a beloved pet.

BECKY said...

Gee, Linda I don't remember us ever talking about you having a dog! Probably my "not so good short term memory" problems! Dusty looks like she was a real sweetie!

Tammy said...

Awww.... I woulda picked the feisty one, too. And did. What a beautiful baby and a beautiful tribute to her.

Linda O'Connell said...

Thanks Becky and Tammy,
Dusty was my first, then in Alaska I had Buffy a wire haired terrier. She looked like Benji a mix between a poodle and husky! And we had Willy a part wolf-malamute-hound. Last we had Rocky a little black and white, hyper nutcase who chased flies on the patio for hours. Oh yeah, I have had dogs alright!

Julia Gordon-Bramer said...

Stunning. I'm teary reading it, and will likely re-read it.

Dogs are so special in their devotion. They are the best models to teach us unconditional love. We should all be dogs.


Pat Wahler said...

Very lovely tribute to Dusty. She looks like a sweetheart!


Linda O'Connell said...

Thank you Julia and Pat. Dogs are more than pets, they are companions.

Lynn said...

Such a nice post about Dusty.