First it was the cats. Now, it’s the dogs.
Dogs are writing poetry. I am not making this up.
Don’t believe me? Try “Another Bag”:
True, unbridled love
Is looking at what I just did
On the sidewalk
Then picking it up in a bag
I can only imagine as a treasured keepsake
Wow, the collection you must have by now.
Only a dog could have written that. I know that for a fact. We had a dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, for 14 years. We used 16,000 plastic sandwich bags in assembling our collection from the sidewalk. He also considered it an honor for us to pick it up.
Or, if it’s not coming out of a dog, it’s what going in. If there is one most favorite thing in the entire canine universe, it’s not loyalty, or companionship, or playing fetch. You know what it is:
Food food food
Food food food food
Who says a dog
Can’t write a love sonnet?
Our spaniel would eat anything. Anything. He’d leap at fireflies and Japanese beetles, loose pepperonis from a teenager’s pizza party, paper, and anything—anything—found on the floor. His favorite time of the day was dinner time—our dinner time. He’d station himself in front of the refrigerator, pretending to be asleep but actually looking for anything that might accidentally hit the floor. He had a three-second rule—if we couldn’t pick it up within three seconds, he owned it.
What he did for cats, Francesco Marciuliano has now done for dogs: I Could Chew on This: And Other Poems by Dogs. It could have been subtitled “The 14 Years of My Life Spent with Cody the Spaniel.” Marciuliano knows dogs. He must have known my dog. In this collection of poems, he thinks like a dog. I’m half-convinced he is a dog. The other half of me is convinced he’s a cat.
Dogs write poems about you going on a trip. (We had to hide the suitcases from ours, and sneak him off to the kennel so he wouldn’t realize what was happening). Dogs write poems about having anxiety attacks while you’re in the bathroom. (Ours did.) Dogs write poems about taking a bath. (After you taking a trip, baths are likely the most hated things by dogs.) Dogs write poems about stampeding to the door when the doorbell rings (Pavlov’s dog, part deux). Dogs write poems about smelling everything (everything). Dogs write poems about dog breath, and divorce, and licking, and sitting, and biting, and chewing, and going to the vet.
Dogs even write poems about meeting your date for the first time, as in “Hello”:
I’m sorry he’s out of breath
I’m sorry he’s in such distress
I’m sorry he’s in a fetal position
Sobbing on the floor
But you know if I could
I most certainly would
Give a head’s-up by yelling “CROTCH!”
Before greeting your date full-speed
at the door
Yes, Marciuliano knows dogs, and knows them well. And I’m amazed he got this group to stay calm long enough to write their poems down. But he did. And they’re wonderfully funny.
And every one is true.
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