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Thank You, Larky

You didn't have a perfect collar,
and you had more than a stub
for a tail.
What kind of Boston is that,
they asked, and looked the other way.
So at four months old
you were still at the shop,
while the rest of the litter
snouts up, have sauntered away.

They didn't know that
it's not the collar
or the tail.
Not even the color
of the hair.
They will never know
for it's something
that only you knew,
and only the Uncle knew,
and only Frankie knew.

You regarded us from afar
and perhaps you were sure
we were the humans 
come at last
to make a pet of you.

Frankie knew you were her dog,
the one she waited
for many years,
here at last
to make her smile
and laugh
and sometimes, cry.
To walk with her
oblige her some tricks 
and just go plain crazy for a while.

You were going to grow old
we were sure of that
like lazy Billy
who sleeps a lot.
You were going to grow old
we were sure of that
for you were going to tag along
with Frankie in school
when she would be studying
to be a vet.

You were going to grow old
for how can you not?
How can you not?

one hot and bright summer day,
you closed your eyes,
sighed, and
breathed your last.

Oh, the tears we shed
when we said goodbye.
Oh, the sadness,
that goes deeper
and seems to last.

Thank you, dear Larky,
for the look in those eyes.
The mischief, the playfulness,
the spirit of fun.
You didn't always like pet food
but you loved Beggin' Strips.
You huffed and puffed
and drooled
when it was time
to walk in the afternoon.
You loved the beach
but not the sea
only the long stretch of sand
where you were free to run and run. 

Thank you, dear Larky
for the tricks that made us laugh
-- how trying you could be!
For the long car trips 
made less boring
because curious you
kept looking out,
jumping, and whining.
For teaching Frankie
what it means to truly care
for one of God's creatures.
For making us better humans
for having taken care
of not a mere animal like you.


  1. Oh, Marcia...this is a sad and sweet poem.
    Prayers for your family...


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