Several years ago, over the course of two summers, all my poems were composed during walks I took with my German Shepherd, Sasha.
For years she had been left at home under the care of my son Drew whenever we went to the cottage for a weekend or holiday. When Drew took a job farther away from home we turned an old shed into a comfortable dog home so that she could now come to the cottage with us. And several times a day, Sasha and I would head out to walk along the highway.
She would proceed, nose sniffing the air and along the ground, picking up scents from local dogs, cats and sheep as well as the more exotic guinea hens and peacocks belonging to a neighbour. I can only guess what thoughts filled her mind at that time.
As for me, I would gaze at nearby fields, glance at the local gardens of friends and neighbours and mentally make changes to my own gardens.
Whatever the chemistry at work between us, the mix must have been right. For some reason, the verses just started to come to me. Rarely did I come back from one of our walks without at least a couple of new lines.
By her last summer, Sasha's arthritis had worsened and almost any type of movement was painful for her. Nevertheless she was always excited about heading out on every one of our jaunts. I can only hope that she enjoyed our summer walks together as much as I did.
I still walk along the same highway, still see the sheep, cats, dogs, guinea fowl and peacocks, glance at local gardens and make mental changes to my own. But no more verses have come to me. It seems a key element is missing.
S A S H A
SADLY ABSENT FROM YOUR FAVOURITE EARTHLY HAUNTS
NESTLED FOREVER IN THE NICHE YOU CREATED IN OUR HEARTS
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