(with no apology to Christopher Smart)
For I will consider my dog Bertie,
For he is as mundane as clean sheets, and as welcome.
For at the first glance at the glory of the sun in the east, he worships in his way;
For this is done by waiting impatiently at the door until he is let out to raise his leg against the birch in the back yard, his expression proof to the depth of his rapture.
For he confounds the student of dogly manners, by bearing his tail high and full of pride, all the time permitting other dogs to nibble and smell those portions of least apparent dignity to mankind.
For he has passed the First Degree of begging, that of starvation imminent, and mastered the Second Degree, which relies solely on cuteness to gain the ort.
For he wiggles with all the beguilement of a harem slave, but requiring less effort from the watcher.
For he relishes his visits to those professionals who poke or clip his Delicatest bits, tho’ always he does this with the purity of the innocent.
For when secret ravishments of foods casually left in reach discommode him, he ever seeks the quiet places of the house to relieve himself of their burden;
For his favorite place to do this is in the doorway to his mistress’s closet.
For his vices are simple and easily discovered.
For he has never yet thrown up in a car.
For when he sleeps he does so with charm, a tidy hump upon his ordained pillow, else loose-boned and sprawled upon the forbidden couch.
For in his eyes I have no Peer, reminding me of the power within.
For he loves me with the simplicity of his animal nature;
For his delight in living educates me each day.
© 2007 Kij Johnson