Billy Collins wrote a hilarious poem about dogs called “Why I No Longer Keep a Gun in the House.” It’s about his struggles with a constantly yapping dog.

I have two dogs in my life. One is purebred and very well behaved. The other is a mutt whose mother must have had an affair with a poodle. This one isn’t so polite. He’s named Smoochy. Noisy or not, Smoochy does have some practical value. He doesn’t look like it, but he’s a great guard dog and burglar alarm. He barks when anybody comes around. I call it the “Smoochy Alarm.”

We’ve had two dogs ourselvess, and not a lot of success with either one. One was a bulldog who turned out to be a throwback to that breed’s fighting days. He was tall and could jump five feet up from a standstill. Nelson’s favorite game was biting basketballs in half.

When he nipped our son and drew blood, Whitley said that it was a warning: the next time, he would kill our little boy. We sent Nelson to a dog psychiatrist (yes, there are such people) who said that he was too dangerous to live in a home. However, the psychiatrist had work for him: he could become the “pack leader” who would get all of the crazy dogs he was treating back in line.

It seems that dogs need to feel that they’re members of a pack, and when people treat them too sweetly, they can get confused. So off Nelson went to the psychiatrist’s house where he spent many happy years helping other dogs.

Our other dog was a Daschund. Oscar loved children. In fact, he loved them so much that he couldn’t bear to be without them. No old couples for him! He would pull off his leash and run across the street through the speeding cars to be near a passing child. So I found him a home with four kids, and the last we heard, he was in Dog Heaven!

Unfortunately with me in a wheelchair and Whitley working so hard to keep us going, we can’t have a dog now, but we can enjoy the ones we know…including noisy little Smoochy!

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  1. Just had to make an off-key
    Just had to make an off-key comment, Anne…
    When you described the bulldog, Nelson, it immediately brought to mind the bully character on the cartoon show, “The Simpsons”. Nelson Muntz is always punching smaller kids and stealing lunch money, and his derisive “HA, HAAA!” to others experiencing a difficult time seems to fit your description as well.
    It’s SO GOOD to see your diary entries again! Wishing you healing and peace.

  2. You’ve discovered Billy
    You’ve discovered Billy Collins! His poetry is full of droll, tongue-in-cheek humor– always makes me laugh. So glad you’ve found him, Anne. As they say, laughter is good medicine…

  3. One dear sweet spirit we were
    One dear sweet spirit we were privileged to have been part of our family crossed over a couple of years ago. He would actually sit on his hind legs and raise his paws in front of a Buddhist altar cabinet in a praying position for minutes at a time all on his own. He was a kind, loving, sweet, just, and protective spirit. I believe he is still with us.

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