Back on his feet

Up and running

Hopping, he was:
Near hind hitched up as though the ground
Was suddenly too hot to bear;
A trembling velvet milking-stool,
Head and tail hanging low,
A look of ‘better-leave-me-sir-I’ll-only-slow-you-down’
In his martyred, liquid eyes.

Rest and four days’ lead-walking.
Easy for the vet to say:
Hell on feet for us; the lad
A little keg of gunpowder,
The wire-taut lead a fuse
As every squirrel, cat and rabbit
For miles around chose these four days
To wander idly across our path,
And grin at our tempestuous tangles
And yelps of hopeless rage.

But then to see him free again,
Eating up the football field
In strides five times his length
And hear the thrumming of four sound feet
Behind me, feel him blow by
Like a train not stopping at this station,
Makes my heart lighter
Even than my wallet
And restores the swing
In my own step.

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7 thoughts on “Back on his feet

  1. Having just spent three frustrating hours trying to communicate with a bureaucratic telephonic system I was in need of a lift for my spirit.

    You just provided it 🙂

    Long time ago my father used to keep whippets so I can see the picture really well

    Thank you Nick

    • I don’t think any dog puts on the ‘wounded soldier’ act quite so convincingly as the whippet. It’s a combination of the eyes, the trembling, and the tail tucked underneath till it’s almost touching the belly – if dogs got Oscars, our lad would be a dead cert. It’s great to have him fit again, though; life seems all out of kilter when he’s not right. Pleased you enjoyed the poem!

  2. I’ve noticed that when I haven’t brought my camera along…every woodland creature parades pass…suppose when they know you hunting companion is down the same parade rules would be in operation. 😉

    • You’d almost think a memo had gone round; it was incredible how many prey animals suddenly appeared, and how nonchalant they all were. Maybe I should have taken a camera with me..! And of course, now he’s off the lead again, there isn’t a critter, wild or domesticated, to be seen.

  3. I liked the poem, but sorry for the dog, good to know he is fine now. Whippets… They are a bit nervous, aren’t they?
    Do you hunt with him? (I hope not lol)
    Sometimes I think the energy of racing dogs should be used for household energy systems. 🙂

    • They’re more neurotic than nervous, really; our boy likes to know where everyone is and what’s going on, otherwise he gets very agitated. We don’t ‘hunt’ with him, exactly (he’s far too stupid) but he does chase rabbits and squirrels when he sees them, which isn’t often. Glad you liked the poem!

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