This is a poem I wrote when my dog Zoey passed away at the age of 12 —

Zoey, A Dog

Nov 5, 1992 – June 8, 2005

Zoey was no ordinary dog,
She was a noble independent creature,
Never wanted to be a pet,
Never really agreed to be a pet.

She was picked from a litter,
As the liveliest, most active of the bunch.
We brought her home and
Our problems began.

She would NOT be controlled,
She would snap and rebel at a hand on her,
She would find a crack and run away,
She chased away our cats.

But we grew to love her,
And out of respect for her
And her desire to be free,
We reached some agreements.

First came the dog trainer,
“Sit”, “Heel”, “Stay”
“Good Outside Potty”
“Good dog Zoey”

Then came the Binaca,
A potent weapon for a young girl,
To keep the upper hand
And defend herself.

And there were squirt guns everywhere,
Filled with water to fend her off.
Placed out of her reach of course
Or they would get chewed up.

A common theme became, “Where’s Zoey?”
She could always find a way to escape
From behind our wooden gate
And we spent hours finding her again.

But when she was found,
Perhaps miles from home,
She’d greet us wagging her tail
As if to say, “What?, What’s the big deal?”

One day she arrived with her first trophy
With head held high,
She trotted home so proudly
In her mouth, a dried up, flattened squirrel.

Then came her puppies, three litters in all.
Her motherly instincts of thousands of years,
Ran true and strong.
And she cared for them well.

We kept one puppy and named her Dotty, but called her Dit.
Pampered and loved by two young girls,
Dotty returned their love and more,
A sweeter dog there’s never been.

But Zoey was the smart one,
She noticed the affection given “Little Dit”
And she learned how to behave
So she’d get some of it too.

But wild she remained.
She could find that crack in the fence
And run away, for experiences we could only guess at
From the dirt she brought home, and the smells of her fur.

Oh we’d search for her, but to no avail,
Then go home and wait for the call.
It always came, “We found your dog”
Some neighbor would say.

And I’d get in my car and drive 20 minutes
To the place where Zoey was found,
And Zoey would be resting peacefully
In someone’s back yard.

And she’d greet me with her tail wagging,
And say “What?” “Why did you come so soon?”
And home we’d go,
To await her next adventure.

Her favorite place was a sandy beach.
Both the Pacific Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay.
We’d try in vain to keep her nearby,
But when given an inch of freedom, she’d take a mile.

And then down the beach she’d run,
Too fast for us to catch her,
We’d watch until she became a mere speck in the distance,
And simply wait for her to return.

And she always came back,
Sometimes many hours later.
A tired contented dog,
With one more untold adventure.

That was our Zoey,
She lived a good life.
We will all miss her,
But most of all our “Little Dit”.

Carla from CA