A Good Dog

May 2, 2008
By Kathryn Mahan, Fredonia, KS

My dog is anxious
Though the night beyond my window
Is still
He paces, whines softly

I call him to my side
Pat his head, scratch his ears
He sits
But only for a moment

I am shiftless
I wish only for sleep, but
My dog
Can find no comfort

I let him out
He sniffs trees, gardens, grass
He’s done
That wasn’t what he wanted

Inside once more
I plead with him to just
Lie still
His tags jingle as he moves

I invite him up
Onto the usually forbidden bed
He jumps
Then settles beside me

He’s not a big dog
But suddenly, he has half the bed
I sigh
He keeps me warm

He lies with his feet
Digging into my legs and I shove him
A little
He licks my face

Though the circulation
To my feet is cut off, almost painful,
I sleep
He is my guard

In the morning
He has shifted slightly
He waits
For me to wake

I rise reluctantly
He bounces in front of me, hoping;
He asks
For food, a walk

I dress slowly
He whines in impatience, drooling on me
I smile
He is a good dog.

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