Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-Dusty July 16, 2014

Filed under: Poetry,poodles — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:04 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Little brown

Dusty dog

shadow at my


Your blind eyes no

longer help you  pick a ball out of the air

leaping four times your height

cookies tossed at your mouth

now bounce off your nose.

Your sore hips

aren’t stable enough

for you to beg

or dance

or roll over

any more.

But still you follow

whenever I leave the room

attached to my ankle

just to be beside me,

my little brown






When this little brown poodle pup came to live with us, his name was MacBeth.  As a family we debated whether to call him Dusty (after the Dusty Strings harps, since he’d be the only Dusty I could afford) or Shadow.  He became Dusty, but he was always Shadow.



35 Responses to “poem-Dusty”

  1. I’ve grown old with and outlived three poodles and two Yorkies. I identify with this poem so much. Beautiful shadows, I loved them all, and currently have an older Chihuahua and a young Chihuahua.

    • I grew up with poodles, too. Our two boys are 14 (OJ the standard) and 16 (Dusty the miniature). My (human) father is 100. I suspect I’m going to have a really horrible year in 2 or 3, when all 3 go one after the other.

  2. My shadow is 70 lbs. of drooling boxer. I couldn’t ask for better. Thanks, Shawn, for this.

  3. kilaheem Says:

    Bounce of your nose lol

  4. davidprosser Says:

    The love of a real friend. His for you following you about, yours for him in the poem.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  5. kiwiskan Says:

    You’ve just about made me cry Shawn, thinking about some of our little shadows that have now moved on

  6. madamsabi Says:

    Man’s best friend..dependable

  7. We (me and my children) wrote Japanese death haikus when our beloved English Pointer (Sir Archibald Wisdom White) had to be put down…and he sat up until the injection…and a more beautiful fall into total release I have never witnessed. We wept in sorrow, in gladness, and imagined the pipes playing as he ran into heaven…

    • Oh, how poignant. We were there to watch and pat our little Pepe poodle (he’s in a photo on my About page) as he was put to sleep. My husband didn’t understand why I insisted on being there, but I was adamant that it was part of my duty as his owner. It was awful because he dug the hole in the back yard before we went to the vets, and Pepe was curious about it, sniffing around it.

      • omg Shawn…our Archie dutifully watered all the bushes and sniffed all the trees and made (very very) half hearted attempts to bark at squirrels, while we walked him there…

      • Sweet Archie. I remember hearing the story of one family who were taking their old dog in, but still very uncertain whether it really was “the time.” They took him into a field across from the vet for him to romp, and he had a heart attack while running about and died in the field.

        Our old guy’s eyes told us. He was in constant pain and so grouchy with it. No romping for him on his last day. Just a loving departure.

  8. ilsedekker Says:

    I love it! You’re very talented!

  9. spill71 Says:

    Oh so adorable….I used to have a blind dog too….what a terrible match for my husband who loves to rearrange the furniture constantly.

    • Oh dear. Neither of my boys is completely blind, but they’re losing fine detail for sure. Dusty is always looking at me, but he used to be able to snag tossed little bits of food unerringly, and now he can’t see them

  10. narble Says:

    When I read a lovely dog poem, like this one of yours, I am always reminded of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Power of the Dog.” The bond with a dog is unique in the universe.

  11. hamiltonju Says:

    This melts my.heart

  12. words4jp Says:

    My girl will be 9 soon and for her – 1/2 Akita and 1/2 German Shepherd is getting up in numbers. She is beginning to have trouble – sometimes a lot more than others – getting around, which makes it a challenge. She is a tripod with a front leg missing and we live in 3 story townhouse. But we love her to bits and I I know that I cannot think about the day she leaves. I simply cannot. I know a huge part of me will go with her, especially since she is an intimate connection to someone I have already lost.

  13. Stephen James Says:

    We have a similarly stoic and loving dog – are there really any other kind? Her name is Lulu. She was an abandoned spoodle who’s been with us for 12 years. I call her ‘God’s perfect creature’ in private moments since we shouldn’t judge animals on the basis that they can’t know or choose to act badly, and thus get less credit for their good character than they deserve. They are what they are and deserve as much credit as the best of humans. All the best for your devoted ‘Dusty’.

  14. macjam47 Says:

    Very touching.

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