Tag Archives: Golden Retrievers

Arlo’s Garden


My first old golden planted himself everyday

in the garden by my patio chair. That’s where he took his nap.

At thirteen, all Arlo needed was water, food and tennis balls

and, of course, he needed me.

It wasn’t until he died that I realised

how much I needed him.

If he’d been a man, I probably would have married him.

That dog set roots in me,

roots so deep, that even after he was gone,

within a week, they sprouted another

homeless old golden named Shadow.

Shadow lived to be fifteen and a half.

Then one night his eyes looked into mine, and they said

Thank you.

The next day he died, and I missed his golden

shadow beside my chair, and under my feet,

but I felt his soul staying right with me for six weeks.

I buried some of his fur in Arlo’s garden.

Then it took root, blossomed and brought me Libby.

She’s thirteen and real chipper. Kind of bossy too.

She’s not like the boys, but I love her anyway.

I understand her. We both think like girls.

Libby lays on the lounge chair cushion

that I took off the chair and put on the patio floor

so she could lay beside me as I write.

She likes her comforts and I like her company.

Today I looked up, meaning to say a word to Libby

let her know how much I appreciate her help,

but her cushion was bare.

She didn’t raise her head to smile.

I saw some dirt strewn on the ground; I gazed across

to the strip of garden where Arlo planted roots

and where Shadow’s fur blossomed.

There Libby had planted herself, fast asleep and dreaming.

I couldn’t help but wonder as her paws twitched

and her muzzle nursed a bark

if two big goldens weren’t running beside her,

chasing balls, catching skunks,

and swimming the deep spring river.


Filed under Non-Fiction, Poetry, Uncategorized

Lucky Dog

Homeward Bound’s Golden Taxi

Loaded up nine dogs today and drove ’em all the way

Highway 5 – Fresno to Sacramento.

See Rusty here? His owner died, leaving him tied

to the house. He’s been there since March.

People fed him, but no one thought, for four months,

(that’s one hundred twenty days or two thousand eight hundred eighty hours, and God-knows-how-many-minutes)

that Rusty needed more than food and water.

Shadow, the next dog down, has a tumor hanging from his testicles,

an ugly festering thing that bleeds and smells.

His owner said, get that dog the hell outa here.

And this pretty dog, Shady, was a lady, blonde and small

yet someone thought she could fend for herself

in the desert outside LA. She couldn’t.

Nearly died from hunger and fear;

When found, she was so weak she couldn’t run,

just hoped the strangers who approached wouldn’t kill her.

The big dog over there, with the dark red coat,

nobody knows his name. He answers to anything you call him.

He’s just glad to have somebody call him at all.

Doc needs to take the foxtail out of his eye

Then he can stop hurting and pretending he’s okay.

Digger there is a family dog, but his family can’t keep a job or a house,

so they sure as heck can’t keep Digger.

He watched them walk away after the boy said,

“Stay, Digger. Be good now.” The boy left, wiping his face

on a sleeve, and Digger stopped wagging his tail.

Trixie wasn’t sure if she even was a Golden.

Retriever, that is. She’s gold all right, but we suspect

she’s got more cocker than retriever in her genes.

We gave her the benefit of the doubt.

Some old lady who can’t have a big dog

will be mighty glad to have Trixie at her house.

Those two over there are Sam and Isabella.

Brother and sister, been together all their lives.

Long ones, too. They’re both over twelve. Nobody wants old dogs,

They say old dogs will break their hearts and die,

but Nobody never asks whether dogs’ hearts break.

At the sanctuary the old dogs get to live in the house

and sleep on big, soft clean couches

and wide fluffy beds, where there’s lots of space

for cranky old bones to settle down and sleep.

Last of all, there’s this poor boy here. Both his legs

got run over and he got left since nobody could afford to pay

for his surgery; This fella needs pins and long term care

so he can walk again, chase tennis balls and play.

Doc here will give him everything he needs.

Somehow we’ll pick up the tab and save the dog.

They’re all worth saving.

We named him Lucky.

If you want to help rescue a golden retriever, please visit Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary’s website. Donations of money, items, volunteering time, foster parents and adoptive parents are always greatly needed and appreciated. http://www.homewardboundgoldens.org/

To the world we are dog rescuers, but to these dogs, we are the world. Please join us!


Filed under Flash & Micro Fiction, Poetry, Uncategorized