Barley Whine

You came to us

(or did we come to you?)

Old, battered, tired and worn.

And I saw me. Within you.

It was like two creatures

who were synonymous.

Emotionally in-synch.

We didn’t even come for you.

You were not our intention that day.

But there you were.

(or maybe there we were?)

Padding softly on limping paws

your head downcast. Big brown eyes,

like round bark pebbles worn smooth.

What made your eyes so sad?

What wore you down so much?

You had a big sore on your chest,

shaved and prickly, a patch of cactus

on your grizzled fur coat.

I admit, I had misgivings. But then I remembered…

(or did you remind me?)

I remembered coming up to my own new

home. An escape from trauma and a soon wasted life.

I remember the fear I had.

Fear so big that only single words could capture it.

Abandonment

Untrusted

Pain

Hope

And within that moment, and within those

dark brown eyes full of soul

We both decided to firmly reject those fears.

Instead of sitting down next to you

(or you sitting down next to me?)

We played. We played as best as old souls can.

A light jog in the caged meet and greet space.

The vivid green, artificial turf cushioning our steps

Back and forth,

Back and forth,

Back and forth.

We took you home. And you helped make our

house complete.

You trusted us, and mostly we earned that trust

(or did you earn our trust?)

I want you to know something.

And please, really listen here…

You are a good dog.

You always have been.

You are worth the love and care.

You will always be with our pack.

You are a good dog.