Tight black ball
warm, curled against my hip
tail twitching in dreams.
Serious affection or just fluff?
It’s all the same to me.
I have been gifted with a tortoise.
A slow moving friend who will live long.
When I wake, I google
whether tortoises can lived in a backyard
through Canadian winter.
before I realize it was only
curled on a cushion
foggy eyes still adoring
tail still wagging
slow to rise, feet creak,
How long ’til I stop
Checking behind me for my
faithful dog shadow?
Good bye Dusty Dog.
your last twenty-four hours.
You are curled on a fuzzy blanket
that you settled onto with a groan
and a long sigh.
You’re catching up on the sleep you missed
between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. when
you cried and howled and paced.
You struggle to rise and follow me
as I move through the house, still my shadow
even though it hurts to move.
You still wag your tail
though your hips cause you pain.
You still look up trustingly
with those cloudy white eyes,
so I will do my painful duty,
and give you sleep, free from pain.
After your final vet appointment,
tomorrow at this time.
I will bury you in the back yard
beside your brother, and we will weep
over the loss of another faithful dog
who shadowed us