Pauper, The Local Mutt


The dog, which I have given the name Pauper, is a neighborhood stray and is a half-pint-sized German Shepherd mix.

My wife and I, more wife than I, have grown to care for him,

Perhaps even developed a mutt-like love for him!

He was once taken to the vet by my wife due to a cut foot; however, he was in desperate need of a shampoo long before he received one. Now, instead of smelling like a mutt, he smells more like Lysol.

After that, give the mutt those pricey shots once more… hopefully, cleaning out his system of any disease, and so forth…

We attempted to return him to civilized society by welcoming him into our home and treating him almost equally, but he whimpered and cried…

Can you picture a German Police Mutt whimpering and crying?

Watching that is difficult for a Vietnam War veteran, so I let him go so he could return to and explore his former territory.

Well, what can one say? To each his or her own, I suppose—even a dog has the power to decide upon—his fate!

Anyhow, the essence of this poem is this:

We’ve fed him per near daily, for more than a few months now,

A few times a day!

Hamburger for lunch, a steak for dinner, water to quench his thirst, and some hard bread crackers, occasionally combining hamburger with dog food…

Had I not mixed it with the hamburger, he’d not have eaten dog food, he’s highbrow, believe it or not-

Yes, even a mutt, particularly one with stiff nicks, can be expensive, and this Peruvian Mutt requires a lot of upkeep…

“Without protein, I won’t eat anything else at your house.” his eyes have told me, time and again, and my wife seems to identify with him; or is it with me and him?

As though he follows a kosher diet.

But he puts on quite the show, and it’s fun to watch him eat!

As cool as a ripe and chilled cucumber, he approaches so dapperly.

Wiggling that long mutt tail, not tramp style, but kingly, as if somewhere along the line, he was descended from King Arthur’s court (as they say: elitist).

I call him, the roustabout, he has three neighborhoods he searches out I do believe;

And that look on his face says: if you don’t serve me, I got plan B, and C, already in place (sounds like my son-in-law!)

Anyhow, suddenly the dog sees the steak in my hand, for him surely the choicest slab of protein in the neighborhood-

in each of the three neighborhoods!

With a swift dart of his perturbing-dog face, and strong four-year old saber teeth, he dives at the steak, grabs hold of the steak, clutching it, as if it might grow legs and run away;

I have to watch my fingers and his teeth closely, lest I lose them:

Both my eyesight and my reflexes have declined since I was a child.

The steak, now in his mouth, his head raised, ere, before he devours it:

Exultantly he throws the stack every-which-way but loose,

like to soften it before the big event!

Then snap, it is in two pieces, one hanging out of his mouth, the other on the floor, of our den-

This is not the end!

He pays no more attention to my wife and I because he is in an LSD-like state… happy as three cockroaches, on top of a hill of sugar!

There is a larger dog next door who also enjoys steak, and he is chewing furiously as if someone might come along and take it away…

The main reason Pauper enters our den is to eat the steak I give him covertly, lest Moro-the beast catch him doing so.

And until the first of the halves disappears down his long slippery throat, he is not content-

Eaten with such relish and determination, he now goes for the second portion, a little less hurried: yet a little worried

Crack-head, the Priest’s dog, across the street might appear,

He likes Pauper’s hamburger:

Due to his frequent mishaps on the Preacher’s rooftop and his bitter nature, I’ve given the Priest’s dog the nickname Crack-Head. However, I only use this moniker when the Preacher isn’t around to catch me out…

He is able to read my lips, and when I address him as brother, he gives me the: I’ll eat you look.

He shares similarities with Moro the Beast.

Does Pauper, have a concept of what he is eating (surely not what it costs)?

He does!

How do I know?

He persists in trying to build a relationship with this house for the long term, especially enticing my wife with his sad, drooping eyes. Knowing that I might be a war veteran, he is cautious with his cues and peas…

When he is full, he wanders off to Cockroach Villa, wherever that may be!

But since that last shampoo he got, he has returned to smelling like the old Mutt of the neighborhood once again

And I always get to take a shower after I feed him!

This is taking too much time, I told my wife!

if not expensive, for a dog that won’t even guard our house’s perimeter or, for that matter, keep us company at night!

Written 11-18-2014 (No: 4609)

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