Heaven for Arden
Back when Arden could still go for a walk--a real walk,
not the twenty yards or so
he stumbles and lurches now--
he used to be anxious and uncertain, looking to me,
stopping awhile, tentatively, to see if I'd agree
to go no further, sometimes whining a bit
in case I'd respond. Sooner or later,
the turn would come; we'd gone far enough
for one day. Joy! As if he'd been afraid all along
this would be the one walk that would turn out to be infinite.
Then he could take comfort
in the certainty of an ending,
and treat the rest of the way as a series of possibilities;
then he could run,
and find pleasure in the woods beside the path.
RIP, Gracie (a.k.a. Girlfriend, Stinky, Gracers, Crazy Dog, Goofball)
August 31, 2001 - July 25, 2012
The dog fans among you would do well to also check out Mark Doty's memoir Dog Years.