The dog took notes
when they talked—“he’s chasing
rabbits in his sleep,” they
said, but it was shorthand.
He was getting it all down.

He never got the point of jokes.
He had a hard time with laughing.
It sounded like sneezing, but the
pitch faltered, and there was no reason
for it, and it went on too long.

But he understood grunting, and the
rump-rump-rump of sex.
He could stay and listen, as long as
he pretended not to notice,
and kept his nose off the bed.

Most of all, he was reliable
within his limits. Mornings,
when the master had left for work,
he’d mark a few trees for show,
then come straight to give his report.

Tad Richards

If you have any comments on this poem, Tad Richards would be pleased to hear from you.