His parentage unknown with saucer sized feet
All too soon the rest of him caught up
The chain-link fence was a chin rest.
His tail destroyed the lamps and knick-knacks
His weight made sofa cushions collapse
His ferocity toward the intruder saved their lives
This is a Cherita, named from the Malay word for story. It is a poem consisting of 3 stanzas. The first stanza is a single line. The second a couplet and the third line a tercet. The line lengths are at the poet’s discretion. It is untitled, centered on the page, and has no requirement to rhyme since it is modeled on the haiku/tanka.
A former coworker got a puppy from the animal shelter. She and her family wanted a small to medium sized dog, something in the range of a cocker spaniel/border collie. All the puppies they had were “Heinz 57” variety. The adoption clerk informed them that the mother had been a sheltie and the father was unknown. Anyway, they selected a likely pup that appeared to be fluffy enough and friendly. After a couple weeks and a visit to their vet, it was determined that their 12 week old pet was really maybe 8 weeks old. The vet’s prediction was that their small to medium sized dog would be much bigger. Her prediction was spot on. When Fluffy went in to get his 16 week vaccinations, he was big. By the time he was 8 months he was the size of a very hairy Great Dane and he was still in the gangly adolescent phase. My coworker considered re-homing Fluffy but her kids were all very attached. Fluffy went to obedience classes and was really a star pupil. His only bad habit was getting on the furniture…
Anyway, his tail was a weapon. If he was happy to see you, you could expect bruises on your thighs from being beaten with that wagging tail. He redecorated her house by eliminating clutter, magazines, and glass figurines (really anything breakable at wag height). She was at her wits end when he decided the new living room sofa was his bed. She shooed him off it but he would be back as soon as she turned her back. A year later he was a lean and muscular dog. She told me he weighed about 140 pounds! Her good sofa was sagging and the cushions a total loss and she decided that he had to go. A few days later as the family slept, two men broke into the house through the kitchen window. Perhaps they were looking for anything to sell for drug money, maybe they had more wicked plans. But Fluffy cornered them and set up such a racket that even the neighbors knew something was wrong. When the police came the intruders basically begged to be arrested! Fluffy obediently stood down and let the police do their job.
She was curious to know just what kind of dog he was . The results of the canine DNA test pointed to a mix of several big dogs – St. Bernard, Rottweiler, Great Dane, and Akita. Fluffy is now allowed to sleep on the sofa and the talk of him being sent away has ceased forever. Sparky wants a dog but not a really big one. He just might get his wish. The only catch is the backyard needs the fence repaired and we have to see if the dog in question likes Sparky as much as he likes her…