A Certain Sort of Dog

Though I’m not one for dogs myself

I like to see them on the loose,

those half- and quarter-breeds you pass

padding by with no excuse

that they might offer to a catcher

out with pole and net and van.

The dogs I mean decline to snarl;

they just half greet you, man to man,

always clear on where they’re headed,

straight on through their world of smells,

undistracted by the purebreds

guarding with their decibels

a master’s lawn and bathroom window

from men who, if the owner’s gone,

might head off with the furniture

in a long pantechnicon.

The dogs I mean pass right on by,

nondescript beyond recall;

sons of mothers who’ve made clear

flamboyance may precede a fall.

I love the way they know just how

to never quite engage your eye.

They glance up once at most and then,

nose down, keep on trotting by.

No one runs to ring the pound;

such creatures plainly mean no harm.

Their steady sense of destination’s

just a small part of their charm.

So whether, on your way through life, 

you choose to run or walk or jog

there’s quite a lot that can be learned

from a certain sort of dog.

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