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23 Apr 14

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Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home

I love this book title.
It’s the sniff of powers unknown
hint of something to discover
 
but mainly it’s the length of it
claims more attention than is normal
also it’s the capitals.
 
My life would be different if I could
just give out the titles
let other people fill in the words below
 
paint their own picture of that dog
with its nose stuck as far into the letter box
as it will go.
 
If I had precognition of a person’s return
would I sit by the door looking for love?
Maybe I would. Maybe I have.
 
Dogs which have owners are lucky dogs.
 
I found the book in the library between one called
How to be a responsible Dog owner,
and one by Jung, misplaced, which says
 
in Life After Death, one of its chapters
Reason sets the boundaries too narrowly for us
and would have us accept only the known.

 
In the dog book some chapters are:
The bonds between dog and person
Returns by bus, train and plane
.
 
Logs of dogs’ behavior.
Could dogs smell their owners approaching?
Why do so many dogs not react?

 
The question of what happens when owners change
their minds about coming home, is one
that won’t go away even if I wish it would.
 
I don’t even have a dog.
 
I have a recurring dream, though, that someone’s given
me a small dog
to look after and for some unknown reason I put it
 
in a cupboard under the stairs
then suddenly remember it weeks later.
I open the door and a bundle of skin falls out
 
looks like a baby
but it’s still alive so I decide to feed
it better, hope no one
 
else noticed me being archetypal.
Dogs are odd, I often think, the way
they seem happy
 
to live with beings which have
body shapes and smells
quite different to their own.
 

Marion Tracy

published in Heat Literary Journal,
Plain Vanilla Futures, Heat 20, 2009