His annual calendar came in the mail
last week, the one featuring his
Aussie Cattle Dog kin
and I put it up today
above my morning chair.

Each year I order a new one,
not to remind me of him
(how could I ever forget my
dog of a lifetime?)
no, just to keep him as close
as close can be
as the years go by.
Twenty is it? Since he first came
so unexpectedly?
Six and a few days, since
he left us
so suddenly?

To be sure I have portraits
of other special creatures nearby,
a strong lion’s face, pencil sketched,
a bright lamb peering down
from the wall.

But only Wrangler has pride of place
with his Blue Heeler look-a-likes
on the calendar, and
his worn green collar,
tags still attached,
hanging on the door knob.

In a few minutes Buddy will
drop by and sign to go outside.
He has his own lovely place
in our lives.
But no one takes the place of
Wrangler Blue Dog,
or would expect to.

Someday, not too far off, I guess,
we will all three,
Wrangler and Buddy and me
walk together.
Otherwise, how would it be
heaven?

-Leighton Ford, January 2020

Leave a Reply