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Love That Dog (A Sestina)
For years, my siblings and I had tried
to persuade m parents to let us get a dog.
I told them I needed something
to teach me responsibility, something sweet
to take care of. Something to love.
For the longest time, all they said was, "Maybe."
And for the longest time, that's all I had to hold on to, that "Maybe."
to satiate my need for a pet with a goldfish, but really, how can you love
a goldfish? It died two days later anyway. No, I needed a dog.
A soft, playful, sweet
animal to be my something.
We went for a drive one day, "just for fun." But there was something
about the way my mom said it, I dared to hope that maybe
today would be the day. Sweet
anticipation filled me until we arrived at the building: "Humane Society -- Adopt Today!" I tried
to contain my excitement. Inside we walked past maybe a dozen cages, every dog
bark-bark-barking as if to say, "Me, me, me, pick me to love!"
And that's when we saw her, slumped in the very corner of her cage, the soft, sad-eyed brown dog. It was love
at first sight. There was just something
about her. So we brought her home. Our new dog.
She was so sad at first, like maybe
love was not something she knew in her past life. So we tried
our best to make her happy. Our dog, so gentle and sweet.
I loved everything about her: the click-click-clicking of her nails on the kitchen linoleum, her sweet
brown eyes, the way her ears perked up at the word "Outside", her soft brown fur, her unconditional love.
And even if I had tried, there was just something
about her that I knew could never replace. She was maybe
the gentlest animal I ever knew. I loved that dog.
With all my heart, I loved that dog.
She had the softest fur I'd ever felt, softer even than the petals of a sweet
given to you by someone you love.
Then one day, it was clear that something
was wrong. She was shaking, shaking so violently. We brought her to the vet's office and they tried
to help my gentle, trembling dog, but sometimes there is just not enough love.
My sweet, brown-eyes dog was something
else, maybe the best dog in the world, and I couldn't forget her if I tried.