How we found a puppy who squirmed into our hearts.
|Cheltie, A Puppy
"Daddy can I have a pet?"
“Like a kitty or a puppy.”
“I can take care of it I bet!”
“It would be easy for me!”
My daughter, Emily had asked.
A dozen times I answered no.
Every reason better than the last.
No cats, no dogs, not even a crow.
"Dad, I want a pet of my own.”
“I will teach and care for it,”
Give it a squeaky bone.
and clean up after it a bit.”
"My apartment is too small.
We already have too much stuff.
There is hardly room at all.
Having a puppy would be tough.”
"Remember your hermit crab MJ?"
A damp sponge and pinch of food a day.
The easiest pet in the world they say;
Sun burnt on a hot Louisiana day.
“I want a puppy of my own.”
You said I could have a doggy,
And I am pretty much grown,
Too big for a fish or froggy.
"Puppies are pretty expensive,"
I felt like I was losing the battle,
Once again, I was too sensitive.
Every argument Emily would rattle.
"What if I found one?"
Who likes milk and Cheerios
And to roll around and run?
And sniff with his little nose?”
"People don't just find a puppy,
And we haven’t been to the store,”
Certainly logical it seemed to me,
But Emily’s smile seemed to soar!
“He is on the steps eating cereal."
“I think you might be fibbing!”
Pulling open the door; he was real.
Emily sure wasn’t kidding.
Sitting on the front steps, worn,
Eating cheerios from a mug,
Dirty fur, sad eyes, forlorn
Was some kind of little pug.
"Hun, he has to be someone's pet.
Where did you find a puppy?
He belongs to the neighbors, I bet.”
They let children and pets run free.
"I saw him up by the pond
when I was looking for a frog.”
"He isn’t a toad, but a hound!
“Great, now we have a dog!
"He looked pretty scared and hungry
and I thought if I were sad and all alone,
I would love someone who could be
A friend if I didn’t have a home."
How could I argue with that claim?
“Does he have a tag I wonder?
Cheltenham. That's a different name,
But there is a telephone number.”
“That is way over in England somewhere.
That’s where Maisie and her mom are."
"Ems, sweetie, this dog is not from there."
"He could have wandered that far!”
He doesn’t even have an accented bark."
"Dad!" Exasperation showed in her tone.
“Finding his home will be a walk in the park.
Please hand me my cell phone.”
"But dad... I bet they didn't want him,
or he ran away because they were mean.
Does your cell go all the way to England
What if he's Maisie's puppy, ‘Queen?’"
"This number is no longer in service.”
No problem. I can search on the ‘net
and it should tell me where their house is.
“I will find his family pretty quick I bet!”
“Your search did not match any document.
Make sure all words are spelled correctly.”
“We should make him warm and content,
then try to get him reunited with his family.”
"Hun don't pet him and play with him
too much or you won't want him to go."
I spent two days chasing leads, slim,
asking if anyone lost the little fellow.
Then I made a final firm decision,
Though it had already been made for me
Swapping the old collar under Emily’s supervision,
with a new one and a tag that said "Cheltie."
I bought him a bowl and sweater too.
Now boy puppy, a girl kitty and me,
sit and snuggle on the livingroom sofa, blue,
Waiting for Christmas with Emily.