We bought you on a drunken whim,
Collected you from a Lincoln farm,
You cried and whined on the journey home,
Sliding and slithering in your pee.
We showed you, tiny, to the cats.
Tabby and black one, not impressed,
Withdrew upstairs to taunt, and poo,
Into a stinking litter tray.
(which you would have eaten if given the chance)
Soon after, Whizz left for SA,
Sunshine, servants, animals. Work?
At home, winter was freezing, boggy,
The soggy kitchen floor was smelly.
You were stubborn, hard to train,
You pulled me over in the snow.
Fought with the lead and would not heel.
I was angry and alone.
But we could not seeth for long,
When you looked into our eyes,
Grinning, exposing foot long tongue,
Cocking your head to understand.
We found you loved to chase a ball,
And drop it down a rabbit hole.
The ball and chucker kept you near,
Running miles both to and fro.
Once, you fitted in one tile,
And could lie beneath a desk,
Warming feet while work progressed,
Close to the man who loved you best.
Too big, you moved onto a rug,
Lying, snoozing, waiting – for what?
For ball, red dot or food we dropped,
In error? No not every time.
Watching, hoping all the while,
‘When the big hand’s on the six.’
With pleading eyes you’d beg then sigh,
And drop into a teenage slump.
Balls and food were your obsessions,
Hanging close to walks and cooking,
Dropping the ball, donk, donk, donk,
Craving chasing-fun or chicken.
One day, near here, a passing kite,
Let drop a rabbit from the sky.
Manna from heaven! You gulped it whole,
We tried but failed to rescue it.
You lost your hearing, lumbered off,
Impossible to call you back.
Mislaid in the park, I was distraught,
Then found by strangers with a phone.
We always knew you’d leave one day,
As we watched your muzzle turn to grey,
And your supple joints becoming stiff.
But you chased the ball and gave us hope.
You loved it here in this small corner,
Dropping your ball into the water,
To swim in hope after a swift coot,
Or hurtle at the bob of a rabbit.
Today we bring you back to play,
To swim and chase and follow the wind.
Goodbye old boy, we miss you dearly,
You’ve left a Milo shaped space in our home.