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My trusted friends

Written by Lassu Árpád in English -

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There was a day, a special happy day,

Perhaps one of the best in our life,

When we also had the distinct pleasure

Of adding a puppy to our life.

Little “Tiger” was only four weeks old,

But was the bravest puppy of them all,

He was so tiny my wife cradled him

In a single hand, like a furry ball.

I took him for a run after sundown,

He was cold and quivered like Jell-O, so

I tucked him under my jacket for warmth,

This small little fluff of Golden Yellow.

I could tell that he needed to snuggle,

Missed the warmth of the rest of his litter,

And when we offered him a bit warm milk,

He became a happy little critter.

We bonded and played a lot together,

We shared many happy moments, some strife,

As he became my most trusted true friend,

And the greatest protector of my wife.

How could anyone not love this being,

As he wagged his tail to a steady beat,

Showering us with his pure affection,

Which he was always ready to repeat.

When I punished him for misbehaviour

He would sneak back to me and lick my hand,

I would still be his greatest hero and he’d

Acknowledge me as leader of the band.

We spent plenty of great times together,

In nature, as a family of three,

Needing no others then, for anything,

We were as happy, as we could all be.

Doing business would occasionally

Take me away, and sometimes very far,

Him not knowing what had happened to me,

He would wait by the door, wimper and cry.

My wife mentioned this scene to me one day,

That the dog misses me so very much,

He steals all my soiled laundry items

To sleep on at night, just to be in touch.

That made me understand him much better,

And realized what to him that really meant.

To this dog, I meant almost everything,

And naturally, my heartstrings were spent,

We all traveled everywhere together,

We took him for runs, vacations, a fair —

He loved digging up elusive gophers,

(And for that, Tiger really had a flair!)

He loved the outdoors, nature, the woods,

To be free and discovering, since birth.

We were also akin to all that, then,

And we always obliged Tiger with mirth.

One of his favorite things to do was

When I tied a big knot on an old sock,

He’d bite it, growl, yank it, run around,

I’d lift him up, make him fly like a jock!

We had wonderful, good days together,

Playing nice, rough, growling in the yard,

Strolling in the high snows in mid winter

On bitterly cold days, without regard.

Than one day, old age had caught up with him,

The vet said ‘terminal’, only had days —

I laid beside him teary eyed, helpless

Just comforting him, in his last few days.

I knew in my heart that he understood,

That this time I was unable to help,

We both cried helplessly and steadily,

As he laid beside me in pain and yelped.

I knew, my love could not keep him alive,

Although we had this everlasting tie,

The vet advised me to be merciful,

Who injected him and I watched him die.

As surely as the day will come for me,

When I shall also leave this world of mine,

I will gladly surrender my old body,

To renew our old everlasting tie.

My wife and I swore, there’ll be no more dogs —

The loss of Tiger was too great to bear.

How could we ever, forget our “Tiger”?

Our love was too great not to shed a tear.

Later on we relented, if we find

One suffering, needs our love to give….

A year later, we found a “Rusty”,

All grown up but, a homeless fugitive.

He filled our lives, hearts with gratitude,

And with more love than you can imagine

We felt guilty for forsaking Tiger,

But both dogs were like good adrenaline.

Tiger was Boss of all dogs, no doubt —

As he challenged all and was the winner,

But he loved being round people too

Specially when it was time for dinner.

Rusty did not like little kids at all,

And didn’t much trust any of the women —

But, romped happily with all kinds of dogs,

Even though he thought he was a human.

Rusty had a few small psychic hangups,

From all the mistreatments he had endured,

But we managed to turn him around

’til he was happy and completely cured.

He followed us around the house,

And at night would collapse beside our bed,

He wouldn’t leave that good spot ‘til morning

Unless we got up to go and we led.

He was a runner, too, and really fast,

An elegant, tall, Collie cross of course,

With beautiful shiny gold and white hair,

And much smarter than any racing horse.

Once we had moved and with the new house

Came a beautiful, fearless, friendly cat.

Sylvester was his name, he looked the same,

And as it turned out, he was not a brat.

Well now, we said, we have a cat and dog,

In the same house yet, imagine that.

It took us some getting used to at first

But it turned out, none of us minded that.

It was a match, maybe made in heaven,

The pets had loved each other like brothers,

We all went for daily walks together,

And were the envy of all the others.

They became such good buddies, it was nice —

They often ate out of each other’s bowls!

They even ate much of each other’s foods,

And slept curled up together like two moles.

But one day, oh dear, Sylvester moved out.

He just went to kitty heaven, to stay.

And Rusty really missed him terribly,

Was looking for him for many a day.

Old Rusty then got arthritis and that

Gave him just more trouble in his old age.

We got him pills, the best of everything,

And he’d be painless romping, the old sage.

He had this fun, silly little habit,

To follow us and lay on our feet.

We figured he did it out of love,

Not just because he was looking for heat.

For some reason he had a steady fear

Of being abandoned or left behind,

So, he stuck to us like magical glue,

A faithful dog who was ever so kind.

Old Rusty was getting on in age, too,

One could tell he was really slowing down.

His old age now got the better of him,

But his nose was still mostly wet and brown.

Once he tried to make it up the long stairs,

But was too weak, to make it to the top,

Too old to hang on, slid to the bottom,

I picked him up and carried him back up.

This routine had gone on for quite a while,

Almost every night when we would adjourn,

He’d feel better from his dog medicine,

But he reached a point of no return.

The time had arrived, to face the facts.

Vet said, utenasia is the cure,

He suffered more than should’ve already,

To stop his pain, our intensions were pure.

The dreaded deed was mine again to do,

Bothered my conscience, did it with disdain,

Big tears were streaming from my weary eyes,

And I wondered if he knew my own pain.

Now, it is us who’s old and decrepit,

Our memory can now recall the joys,

How wonderful it was to have those days,

To be with our pets in playful ploys.

And when our twilight finally declines,

We will be all worn out and so weathered,

Our spirit flies us to beloved peace,

Our bodies spent, limp and withered.

Then, I expect, that magic will happen

When all of us shall be oh, young again,

We will recognize, embrace each other,

Never to let go, please……ever again.

James Arpad Lassu (Aug. 1, 2006)

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