Treasure Island

Tony Elsby (Poems of life and love)


Our Good Shepherd


She arrived as such a cuddly pup,
From the smallholding where we picked her up,
And took her home in our little car,
In which she was sick though it wasn't far,
And that, in time, was a tale to tell,
Twas the only time she was ever ill,
In her 100 dog years she was there by our side,
Each day a blessing, though the last one we cried,
Sheeka was a legend known all through the land,
People she nuzzled all thought she was grand,
So gently playful with children and friends
But a fearsome guard who fulfilled demands,
How quickly she learned and loved the command,
To fetch sticks, and balls and other objects to hand,
And even if the scent was left far behind,
No matter the distance, ‘twas easy to find,
A skill that served her so well in due course,
As she sniffed out wrongdoers in woodlands and gorse,
She'd leap over streams and through hand-held hoops,
No lead ever needed, no indiscreet poops,
At the smell of the sea, she'd whelp with such joy,
The prospects more fun than some canine boy,
Cos though we put her to breed with the finest of dogs,
She just wouldn't deign to, well, "dropp her clogs"
What ploys we tried, to extend her line,
But she indignantly barked "no, no, no" every time,
Evidence clear from almost the start,
That our Shepherd had brains, and spirit and heart!
Expressed on her visits to mountains and coast,
Twas a job to decide what she lived for the most
As over the sand she would bound with such glee,
Leaping the waves, so at home in the sea,
But don't think for a moment that Sheeka was rash,
She could walk through a china shop, nothing would crash,
And so safe with kids, she'd watch all their play,
With her senses alert to keep trouble away,
Once when our nipper was asleep in his pram,
Sheeka, hearing a noise, fast leapt up at his 'mum'
And would surely have seized her so firm by the throat
Til recognition dawned and, "I'll just fetch my coat"
Said her guilty eyed look but "mum" hugged her close,
Knowing baby was safe where Sheeka was host,
Cos Sheeka could grip any arm like a vice,
Yet cushion an eggshell when just so advised,
Given just one quiet word her response was so quick,
Her brain so in tune and her actions so slick,
There was no finer dog set foot on this earth,
But at last came the day when she lay by the hearth.
Then shuffled up beside me so sad were her eyes,
As she quietly explained it was time for goodbye,
Then rested her head in my lap for the vet,
Who saved her much pain and indignity yet,
Though Sheeka so peacefully drew her last air,
She knew she was loved and she needn't despair,
Cos in some new dimension where the flesh is no more,
Her spirit awaits us - alert, by the door.


(1-11-2010)

Submitted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Edited: Monday, September 10, 2012

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