A poem by Leeza Coleman
If I could live anywhere
with nothing at all to stop me
I would tell you that I am going to the dogs
and that is where to drop me.
Friendship, loyalty and trust
extended without condition;
no peeing on my fence if I don’t pee on yours,
the time-honored tradition.
We play in each other’s yards
freely, as if they were our own;
we run around in groups or happily go off
to spend quiet time alone.
We backbite only in fun
on the cozy living room floor;
we tug and jump and run and chase until we are
far too exhausted for more.
No humans unless they pass
the canine-intuition test
also known as the canine sniff test to sort out
nasty humans from the best.
Dogs can read in the human
animal’s scent and demeanor
information that tells them who is kind and good
and who is cruel and meaner.
No dogs made to live their lives
at the end of a chain or rope,
outdoors in all weather, in despair, bored to death,
no exercise, love or hope.
No steel cages where the view
is forever through prison bars.
No vivisection, where relief from torture is
a dream distant as the stars.
No factories where the purpose
is to produce puppies to sell;
where dogs commodified to manufacture pups
live in their own special hell.
No dogs with welts and old scars
from being cut up and beaten;
no dogs too weak to stand, ribs showing grotesquely
from weeks not having eaten.
No dogs with nothing to do,
bored, frustrated, lonely, and fraught.
No dogs turned defensive as a result of what
a monstrous human has taught.
I’m going to a species
that doesn’t “do” spite and malice.
I’m leaving my species. I’m going where hearts are
Less devious and callous.
Dog DNA here we come!
Going to a new neighborhood;
The cat is psyched too: we are going to the dogs
And we are going for good.