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posted Jan 22, 2016, 1:19 PM by Christa McElroy
For Sasha

The Dog I Never Wanted was our first foster collie,
Her owner brought her — a dreadful mess of matted fur.
Another casualty of war – divorced from each other,
They had no more room for her in their hearts.

Thanks to heartworm and human indifference
She was very sick for months — but rallied,
 And never lost her sense of humor.
 Although I may have – once or twice.

Not charming to look at, she seemed
Hardly a collie at all – shaven, pudgy and short.
In her Elizabethan collar, with one leg bandaged,
She looked like a mutant canine snow cone.

The Dog I Never Wanted flunked adoption.
Not once, but twice.
The last family called her vicious.
 And so she came waddling “home”,
Once again 10 pounds overweight.
With a bad back.

Rescue Clubs have rules, and so a choice,
To keep her as our own, or have her put to sleep…..
I didn’t want another dog, but — put her down?
That’s no choice at all.

The Dog I Never Wanted
Was an eager teacher, a reluctant student,
Never without her own opinion,
Never hesitant to lend its voice.

The Dog I Never Wanted
Loved her humans, her cats and her dogs.
She blessed us with ten years of total devotion.
Accompanied by frequent deafening commentary.

The Dog I Never Wanted
Died today. We buried her behind the house,
Where, in happier days,
She rolled in the grass, waving her paws at the sky,
Barking – at what, only God knew …
And I realized — in the sudden silence,
That the only thing I really want

Is to have her back forever.

Christa McElroy