I tell them the best moments are when it’s just you and the dog out in the field when the sunlight braids itself in the tall grasses
And the birds gossip and flit in the nearby tree line.
You arrive at the memorialized bench where the plaque thanks a dead volunteer.
As you both sit there
You run your hand down his back
And rub his chest as he takes a deep breath and sighs. You say a few kind words to him and think about your own abandonment:
when your sister forgot to pick you up from school
when your best friend made out
with the boy she knew you liked
and you weren’t friends anymore
when the parent you adored
broke open with a terrible imperfection.
This poem first appeared in Brief Wilderness.
We are so lucky to have Yvonne as one of our supporters. Her heart for shelter animals brings her to SHS regularly where she leads Dogs Playing For Life play groups and teaches other volunteers how to participate in this important program.