Cathy Barber
(My) Dog is Dying

The first sign was the pee,
deep squats at the feet of strangers.
Later the gushing trail around the kitchen counter
and down the hall.
She didn't notice the liquid that followed her
like water from a hose.

The back legs got wobbly.
Her rise to a stand became slow and reluctant.
Tests revealed so many problems; just as in old people,
ailments don't come singly. There are complications.
The show-stopper's in the femur.

It would be easy to mouth old sayings here
about man's best friend and loyalty,
that she accepts me without judgment.
But her death will be decided by my judgments.
How much discomfort she should endure.
How much I should pay. The value of a month.
My sweet girl will still find me perfect when the needle goes in.