Pet Day

I love Pet Day. It's not without its issues (overly stimulated dogs, unseemly deposits on the East Lawn, dogs that don't like leashes, owners that don't like dogs on leashes, people who don't like dogs, people who are allergic to dogs), but I love it. I like getting to bring my own dog (well, my son's dog, which makes him my Grandpuppy). I like seeing what other pets, besides dogs, children bring in (turtles, gerbils, and the like). I like seeing which dogs go with which people. I like the intense fascination on the faces of the kindergartners when they see the dogs. I like the idea of a campus where man's best friend is welcome. But most of all, I think I just like dogs. I think they are loyal and reverent, and even if this is a total projection on my part, it's a helpful delusion and I do wish I could be with God more like my (son's) dog is with me. I even wrote a poem about it once:

Hound Dog

Am I a hound dog, Lord?

I am

a blue-tick, coon dog man,

Whose nose still winds me serpentine

so none can trace a plan,

Where scent of fame and pleasure leaves

a sightless trail of lust,

And I, with twitching snout, will go

wherever I can, I must!

Now walking by your side, my Lord,

your leash around my neck,

I sniff, I turn, I tug, I lead,

heedless of your beck.

You will stroll, and I dart forth;

and when you sprint, I slack.

The rabbits of my world are plump

and I am on their track.

A nose is all the brains I've got

when playing like a hound.

Your whistle bids me stay and watch—

my snout points to the ground.

Oh, I am tugging to be free,

to run and chase the wind,

And you know well my doggish ways

would lead me to my end.

Am I a hound dog, Lord?

I'm not

a nose that knows none else,

For I can rhyme and I can sigh

and mock my canine self.

And I can see that other dogs

stay home without a fence

And keep their noses in the air

or tilt their heads, so dense.

You go right, and I go left

around the selfsame tree.

A tug-of-war of wills along

the leash 'tween you and me

Stalls us both until I look

into your patient eye:

I can turn me backward now

and let my trails die.

Am I a hound dog, Lord?

I am

sprawled sleeping at your feet,

Or howling base entreaties now

until I get my meat.

And if you 'tone a sunset red

or sing a morning blue.

I'll raise my snout up to your sky

and howl along with you.

And when my blood is boiling fierce

with scent of worldly prey,

You lay your finger by your nose

and bid me "Sit!" and "Stay!"

Though squirrels of praise and power leap

from tree to tempting tree

I'll keep my trembling gaze on you,

who bid me now "Watch me!"


allisondowlen said…
Hi Chip!
It's such a happy treat for me to read your posts and be reminded of these beautiful Trinity moments. Your Hound Dog poem is equally captivating; Thank you for sharing your art with us!

I'm also glad to hear of the robotics team's continued success. Looks like they had a great run in St. Louis!

Kind regards,
Allison Dowlen

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