The dog examines,
with a quizzical stare,
the shoes the man is putting on.

A wavelength of pigment passes the retina;
the shoe is brown and the smell of polish
computes in her brain,
but still,
she allows her tail a hopeful thump.

In the room where food happens,
is the smell of greaseproof paper
around an office sandwich,
not of fried eggs
and grass-stained sneakers.

She lifts her head
to receive the hand that passes over
her scull,
inside which she understands the sound
she soon will hear:

Good dog.

©Cindy Taylor 2009

Related post about how dogs perceive their day:



22 Comments Add yours

  1. MissChris says:

    He is soooooo beautiful.
    the last line confuses me though – stay, good dog?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Well, the dog watches the owner getting ready for what she understands is a ‘non walkies’ day, but she remains hopeful despite the smells, colours and sounds she understands from the routine of weekdays: shoe polish, office sandwich etc. and as opposed for those she recognises from weekend/walk days: grass-stained shoes etc. The last line brings home that she is not being taken for a walk, but must ‘stay’.

      1. MissChris says:

        Hee hee – but does he listen to stay, good dog?

      2. theonlycin says:

        Absolutely 🙂

  2. Liane says:

    I like that: “in the room where food happens,”…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Liane, I wasn’t sure if my dog speaks Kitchen.

  3. Greg says:

    I had an English teacher at high school who told us that a good poet is one who able to evoke emotion and translate feeling in words about anyone or anything other than themselves.

    I reckon she would have given you and your dog an A+.

  4. EverMe says:

    Love the way you speak ummm “dogese?” it gives a depth and humour! “In the room where food happens”

    1. theonlycin says:

      Dankie skattebol.

  5. nrhatch says:

    Beautiful post . . .

    I was right there with the dog as it hoped that grass stained sneakers would take the place of polished shoes.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Despited repeated disappointments, our Lulubelle is hopeful every morning. Her bliss on Saturday and Sunday mornings is quite something to witness.

      1. Count Czardas says:

        Dogs are eternal optimists. But then we don’t have to win the lotto every week to hope and believe we are going to win it this week, so perhaps dogs and us are the same in this.
        Good poem Cindy.

      2. theonlycin says:

        Thank you My Tsar.

  6. slpmartin says:

    I rather like the comment about your ability to speak “dogese”…as far as I can tell there are many dog owners who claim to have this skill…your is the first translation that I have read. 😉 A rather clever poem with some very fun phrases in it.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am very anti-anthropomorphism, so I tried to avoid ‘cute’ in the piece, I hope I was successful?

  7. lyndatjie says:

    I feel guilty every single morning going through this exact thing with my two dogs. They KNOW I’m going to work but their hopefull faces until I give them their little treat and say STAY kills me… 😦

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s sad, only my husband can walk her, she is too strong for me and would drag me along the pavement.

  8. halfp1nt says:

    Lovely poem, Cin; and Lulubelle is a stunningly gorgeous girl 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Shorty, she’s not the brightest glow worm in the garden, but she sure is pretty enough.

  9. adeeyoyo says:

    I feel so guilty when I go out, especially now that I only have my dear little boysie and he has no company when I’m out. I don’t say “Stay” like Lyndatjie, I say “Bye, my baby. I won’t be long” even if I’ll be out all day. 😥

    1. theonlycin says:

      I read once that dogs have no concept of time, so I am sure Boysie forgives you immediately you walk in the door again Adee.

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