Time to go to the place, I thought,
Where all the hapless strays are brought.
Two months before my dog, my friend,
Was struck down in a tragic end.
No warning sign. Just suddenly ill.
In just one hour his heart was still.
In time grief fades and longing grows
For contact with a cold wet nose.
So just a few short miles to drive
Till at the shelter I arrive.
Thoughtfully past each cage I went,
Pond’ring size and temperament.
This canine cell-block tour I took,
B-a-a-c-k-and-f-o-o-r-t-h for one more look
And then by chance he ambled in
To a cage where first he had not been.
His casual manner seemed to say,
“Oh, hi,”—and on he came my way.
At once I knew: This one’s just right.
A Cockapoo—love at first sight!
Before we left, his history
Was shared by shelter staff with me.
The pet store where he first was sold
Declared him worth his weight in gold.
Twelve hundred dollars profit gained
From someone with more bucks than brains.
Obedience classes. Housebroken, too.
He’s had the works, this Cockapoo.
But when the owners moved away
They said this fellow had to stay.
So to the shelter he was sent
Where, the following day, I also went.
A charming dog, the Cockapoo.
He melts your heart to look at you.
An experiment in genes designer,
The end result could not be finer.
Purebred, you say? A pretty fable.
No, just a mutt with a designer label.
In his lineage you can trace
The Cocker Spaniel’s sweet sad face.
Ears wide and floppy, eyes dark brown
And Hobbit’s feet—fringy-haired all ’round.
Next—to cite the poodle part—
He’s playful, quick, and very smart.
And then there’s all that curly hair
To lend a certain savoir-faire.
And then a trait both forebears lend—
A bob-tail at his nether end.
A curly sort of signal flag
In constant state of wiggle-wag.
(Beware: his bark, so sharp and shrill
Can pierce your ears as nothing else will!)
He’d lived with cats—another plus.
So my two shouldn’t cause a fuss.
Besides, my cats (no less than he)
Share different lines of pedigree.
As we rode home, I was impressed:
He neither whined nor showed distress.
A most well-mannered gent, he sat
And listened to my one-way chat.
Once home and coming through the door,
He padded quickly ’cross the floor.
He claimed the sofa right away.
“Okay, I’m home,” he seemed to say.
He flashed a cheerful, pink-tongued grin
And—just like that!—he’d settled in.
He makes most things a source of fun.
Specially so the following one.
“Harass the Cats”—his favorite game.
As torture, though, it’s pretty lame.
He tries to make them think he’s tough,
But they—and he—know it’s all bluff.
He’s spoiled. At night my bed is where
He sleeps, this ersatz teddy bear.
A shy but friendly mixed-breed boy,
With happy heart and sense of joy.
His clownish ways, I must confess,
Provide me constant happiness.
Each time he greets me at the door,
He bounces up and down—what’s more
He likes to softly, gently place
Sweet loving kisses on my face.
He’s so sweet-natured, gentle, kind—
My happy animal shelter find!
© 2008 The Wit’s End Scribbler