Sheepdog Molly

November 13, 2016

You’re single-minded,

Black and white sheepdog.
Well-trained animal.

Whether in-house
or out,
you want a person
to throw something,
a stick-
small or large-
a ball,
a pine cone,
a little piece of wood,
a little something else–
so you can go get it,
over and over and over.

This afternoon
we took a walk
here at your home,
Apple Pond Farm
in the Catskill Mountains,
New York.

And all the way–
from the house to the barn
from the barn around the gate
to the big, open, sloping hill
next to the enclosed field
enclosing 25 or so sheep;

From the bottom to the top,
a longish uphill walk,
watching the three horses
across the field from our path
as they watched us;

From the shaded top to the
adjacent field
across the broken down
stone wall, broken down
barbed wire fence–
we crossed a bunch,
4-5 maybe,
from beginning to end—

From the adjacent, open, grassy field
to the field chest-high with weeds,
down the hill,
heading back towards home,
but with obstacles.

Twice, Molly, I was concerned
you were wounded by the barbs
of the barbed wire,
but you never stopped,
never stopped wagging your tail,
never stopped finding sticks
and big branches,
bringing them to me to throw,
kneeling down,
looking at me with shining eyes,
which said, Do it!, Do it now!

But if I didn’t
you patiently waited,
moving with me as
I looked for a safe path
through the chest high weeds
with occasional barbs,
through the little-traveled woods
with rocks and roots and fallen trees
to constantly navigate
as we kept moving down the hill,
sloping at first and then steep,
me holding on to trees and rocks
in case I lost my footing,
adventuring, adventuring, adventuring—–

Crossing the barely moving stream
and I look over to see you
stretched out happily in
a pool of water,
your underside soaking it in
and you loving it.

Up the steep hill
on the other side,
the house in sight,
around a back way,
past Scot and Desmond,
you with a monster stick
I keep throwing
and you keep returning
until we step back inside.

I find a towel,
I dry you off
as you patiently stand
so I can do so.

I will miss you
when I return to New Jersey
later this evening.

You are truly
(this) man’s best friend,
today and when I visit
in the future.

Speed the day!