Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)


Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

I loved my parents that Spring day
and had no reservation.
Let me describe this if I may,
this time of admiration.

We drove for hours through the rain
to reach a distant town.
And turned at last into a lane,
the house was big and brown.

The doorbell rang, all hell broke loose,
the barking was sooo loud,
out came a man, an old recluse,
he carried himself proud.

He only knew one type of dog
that was the Chinese Spitz.
He'd grown up in the London Fog
but now his name was Fritz.

Chow-Chow, that was the proper name,
their tongues were purplish-blue.
That was their only claim to fame,
of course they also chew.

The puppies looked as we expected,
so cute that it was love first sight.
We searched the bunch when we detected
the cutest one, he was just right.

I told my parents then and there:
'Let's go now that we're ready, '
I was afraid that this affair
could turn into confetti.

But things were perfect on that day,
we took the puppies out.
Began to teach them 'sit' and 'stay',
when Mum began to shout.

The reason was, the little spot
that our puppy had
bestowed upon the baby's cot,
it made my mother mad.

When the excitement now took hold
the little squirt just squirted.
He started barking loud and bold:
Attention was diverted.

The rest is anchored in the past,
from many years ago,
and that a dog life only lasts
a decade we all know.

We had our good times,
played our games,
some photos aging now in frames
and on his birthday - he turned six
we took him out - he did some tricks.
We know about his flat IQ,
I know his brain was lazy,
when Papa said 'Here's what we'll do',
we thought his plan was crazy.

'Now, off the leash', command was given,
when in the distance I could spot
a motorcar, a big one, driven,
I yelled 'don't', 'PLEASE DO NOT! '
but as so often is the case,
our elders know what's good for us.
And Papa said I was off base
and now I saw the bus!
With 30 workers in their seats
and picks and shovels from their work.
A monster weight and if it meets
an obstacle....I went berserk.

The course was clearly marked 'Collision',
if bus or car could be avoided,
then only if this dumb decision
was scrapped but our Dad enjoyed it.

'The dog stays loose', he counselled now,
he's got to learn the rules of life,
his pedigree, it is Chow-Chow,
he'll know how not to get in strife! '

So now it was out of my hands.
I briefly thought of distant lands
where I could go then to forget
now they had murdered here my pet.

Five people, sinister their faces
were travelling in the motorcar.
Sat motionless, stiff in their places.
The dust showed they had travelled far.

The impact wasn't one at all:
The wheel just travelled over him.
Before he had a chance to roll
away, there came the other rim.

And there he was, all dead to us.
My heart had stopped, my face a frown.
We took him home then, on that bus.
The vet said: 'Sorry, put him down! '

Joe Smela was our live-in Pole.
Jack of all trades, that was his role.
He took the dog -his name was Teddy-
and said in broken German: 'Laddy
we make him good, we fix him, JA
and then we show the Herr Papa! '

It took two months to get him right
but he was good as new.
He'd slept in Joseph's bed at night
and slowly munched Joseph's old shoe.

I learned from that -
my dad did not.
He made each new decision
according to HIS if's and buts.
It shows lack of vision,
lack of ego it's not.

And to this day, when it arises
that I defy good sense
I think it's HIS thoughts in disguise -
I quickly make amends.

Comments about Teddy by Herbert Nehrlich

  • Rich Hanson (2/12/2005 1:38:00 PM)

    We either become or rebel against our parents. or sadder still, we rebel against them and still become them. An excellent poem.(Report)Reply

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  • . . (11/19/2004 7:33:00 AM)

    Great story! But why do I get the feeling this has nothing to do with a dog?
    And Return comments are appreciated in lieu of votes(?)(Report)Reply

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  • Herbert Nehrlich1 (11/19/2004 7:24:00 AM)

    Since the rating is indeed very arbitrary I would suggest to have co-poets make comments instead. This would be much more real and meaningful.Agree?(Report)Reply

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Teddy Score Card

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Read poems about / on: dog, london, fog, crazy, sorry, baby, car, spring, work, house, rain, mother, people, home, murder, sleep

Poem Submitted: Friday, November 19, 2004

Poem Edited: Friday, November 19, 2004