The Dog I Never Wanted
You weren’t supposed to be my dog.
You were supposed to be Daddy’s dog.
After Rudi left for the great dog bed in the sky,
I told Daddy we’d have no more dogs
Because I was tired of caring for them.
Daddy promised that this time he would
Walk the dog and take him to the vet
All by himself.
I said no.
When Christmas came, the only thing Daddy wanted was a dog.
And I wanted to go to Israel.
So we went to the pound.
I couldn’t stand the cacophony of pitbull barking, so
I sat and waited while Daddy searched for a dachshund that
Reminded him of Rudi.
He couldn’t find one.
But he saw you, huddled in the corner
Of your cage, and he was overcome with
Mercy and love.
The attendant wrapped you in a soft
Blanket and we held you in the exercise yard.
Your big eyes spoke to us of fear and loss
As you shivered in our arms,
Tragic and adorable at the same time.
I gave my blessing for you to become
With Daddy in charge of all your care.
When we brought you home, you
Peed and pooped on the floor and
Hid under the bed.
And there you stayed all night.
We tried moving the
Bed to extract you, but you
Continued to position yourself
Just out of our reach.
The next morning we called a
Dog whisperer, who whispered until he could
Slip a finger under your collar. I
Withdrew you from your haven and
Deposited you in the carrier which
Became your safety zone.
For many days, you never left the carrier
Without a leash clipped onto your harness.
And whenever you were placed before its open door,
You were only too happy to hustle inside.
But you never let Daddy take you
Out of the carrier. You
Growled and wedged yourself
‘Way in the back,
Your teeth bared and ready to nip at
The hand that wanted only to
Stroke and comfort you.
You wouldn’t allow Daddy to lead you
With the leash. You’d grip the floor with
Your claws. You wouldn’t eat from the food dish
Daddy prepared for you until he was
Out of your sight. But my presence you required.
You would not go outside to potty unless
I opened the door.
A friend told me, “Chihuahuas choose one human.
Guess what. You’re it.”
No! No! This wasn’t what I agreed to!
I lobbied to take you to a no-kill shelter or
A Chihuahua rescue organization.
Daddy negotiated to keep you.
“Remember how terrified he was at the pound?
We can’t let him go back to that.
At least people love him here
And there are no pitbulls barking.”
Daddy put a dog bed next to my desk,
And here you live out your days,
Your ears pivoting like radar sensors.
Every couple of hours we go out in the
Backyard, and when it’s time for bed I
Put you to sleep in your carrier.
You are my constant companion.
I never wanted you, Ralphie,
But I can’t imagine living without you now.