Emmy, old herder, leaks like lost sheep, incontinent,

mumbles in her sleep.  The puppy pads train us,

not her.  Grumbles awake, demands her treat, we

let her out  every time she asks – bladder twitchy as

a bug.  She’ll creak up and down the three steps to the yard,

tail wagging, but no longer goes upstairs at night.

Sometimes, like a 50-lb baby goat, legs akimbo, leaning in,

we’ll carry her.  Family time is hers:  surrounded by

her flock, she’ll root in the blankets, snooze, content

that we’re safely ’round.


Maggie zooms, leaps over couch and chaise, tosses

toys and chews incessant, won’t be held.  Startles

at a hug.  She’s a runner, and we’ve no good fence –

so, a lead in the yard: chasing squirrels, wound around

trees and rocks, she’s wrenched  her neck

so many times now.  She’s nervous.  Once outside, she’ll sit,

watch a bird, a mammal, anything that moves, plotting terrier

destruction.  A chaos-ball of energy, a roiling dun-colored sun,

Maggie gets three walks a day.    She’ll run us to bed,

jump, snuggle briefly, leave.  Mornings are for kisses, anticipation of the day;

Maggie rushes to greet Emmy, downstairs and stinky.


Once a day they share a walk.  When it’s time,  Maggie will nose-poke

and lick,  young dog vibrations push the old gal to get up,

move her joints, get out of the house for a jaunt.


Emmy comes home smiling.


Na/GloPoWriMo Day Twenty-Three  prompts us to write about an animal.  Emmy and Maggie are the two puppers of the house, as unalike and loving as two sisters by circumstance can be.

emmy and maggie



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