Ti Amo! A tale/tail of hope ~


Chapter One

Hope is the thing with feathers;

that perches in the soul;

and sings the song without the words;

and never, stops, at all.

~ Emily Dickinson

I am a poet. Well, sort of ~ I am also a dog. Yet many humans don’t realize I have this gift of poetry along with an incredible brain ~ and I love the works of Emily Dickinson! I love hope! Great amounts of my days are spent simply musing and thinking…about hope.

My story begins in a field of grass…I am running…I am free. The wind is in my face and I am deeply breathing the fresh cool air of a clear blue October sky. It is early morning. As a Labrador/Boxer Mix I naturally enjoy, along with poetry, chasing things. Doesn’t matter to me whether I catch them or not ~ I just want to chase! Anything!

The next thing I know I have been rounded up by a kind man who puts me in his truck while giving me special dog treats. He even sings to me. (He must have recognized that I am a fine arts lover.)

As the day passes I am placed in a comfortable kennel with adorable humans who throw tennis balls for me to retrieve, give me more treats, feed me all I can eat , bathe me (love the water!), give me a very thorough medical exam, and rub my belly which is my all-time favorite spot for petting.

Night comes and I am given MY VERY OWN BED AND ROOM. La! Then I curl up. The next day the same things happen. I can’t believe it. Such good fortune and I grow to become attached to my surrounding friends, and they are crazy about me, it is obvious. They even sing-song a bit of non-rhyming poetry to me. You can beat a drum or clap your hands to keep a beat with this:

Ti Amo, I love you

Ti Amo, I need you

Ti Amo! Ti Amo!

I’m gonna rub your jelly belly!

The days become weeks and I grow more fond of the humans daily. There are volunteers, and staffers, and “Guests”. It is sometimes an extremely full day having to show off for Guests.

Guests stare at me, ask questions, and usually walk on by ~ perhaps because I am an older dog. Once in a while I get to play in a yard with them. Still, I stay with my incredible friends, the staff, and volunteers. Now I am forever attached to them.

One day, it is the day before Thanksgiving, a volunteer named Keara. who adores me and might be my favorite human in the whole world, introduces me to a rather elegant and poised writer-illustrator-photographer-poet-composer WHO IS ALSO OLDER. She is immediately smitten by my demeanor and leans down to bond with my smell by kissing me on top of my head. Hmmm…..ohhhhh what joy!

Later we play in the yard. I wonder if I might go home with her? Maybe she has fallen for my spirit and cannot leave without me? My brain begs, “Please, if there is a Canine Great Spirit, hear my longings.”

Even later I am brought to the front of the Kennels where there is a commons area. Such joy I have never known ~ The Writer is there and has adopted me to take to her forever home. She is ecstatic and kisses me 87 times. Truly! She names me Ti Amo which is Italian for “I  deeply love you”. By this time, I am exhausted from being on my best behavior.

Sadly, I must say goodbye to the volunteers, staff, and my precious Keara. This is difficult. I crawl into The Writer’s backseat with my favorite bedding and after sniffing the entire car, I fall asleep dreaming of life with her.

You see, I am a Senior dog ~ which means I am somewhere between 35 and 56 dog years-old. (Divide each number by seven for the human calculation.) This means I am not a puppy which is what many humans are looking for when they come to the Kennels. You will have to do the math. My coloring is dark gold along with my stunning eyes.

I am utterly exhausted and go to bed… for about three days… I think.

My (Ti Amo’s) Journal

Writer’s Lake Cottage Day One:

  • stay on my bed downstairs in a crate;
  • don’t use the Animal Run;
  • don’t eat;
  • don’t use the bathroom;
  • I am sad and depressed;
  • escape crate and creep upstairs to The Writer;
  • Writer welcomes me with open arms and joy.

Writer’s Lake Cottage Day Two:

  • stay on my bed UPSTAIRS beside The Writer’s bed;
  • still can’t eat; can only urinate;
  • slip out of harness while outside AND WAS A GOOD BOY AS I RAN INTO THE BECKONING ARMS OF THE WRITER;
  • still sad and depressed;
  • I am not myself.

Writer’s Lake Cottage Day Three:

  • stay on my bed upstairs;
  • get hungry;
  • eat a bit of puppy wet food;
  • forlorn and sad yet more comfortable ~ still missing my friends at The Kennels;
  • I might be depressed ~ seriously;
  • By the way, this place is huge; I not only have upstairs, downstairs, and a small Animal Run,  I also have access to a wrap-around veranda where I can meditate and reflect while watching the water;
  •  Sometimes I get to see the sun rise and set.

Writer’s Lake Cottage Day Four:

  • get into Writer’s bed without hesitation (one leap!);
  • run around outside;
  • still don’t like the Animal Run, yet;
  • drink lots of water;
  • eat lots of food;
  • eliminate waste both ways, finally (very important if you ever get a pet);
  • chase my tennis balls like a pro-athlete;
  • deeply content.

Writer’s Lake Cottage Day Five: 

  • Thank you, world! Today feels pretty normal;
  • I sleep WITH The Writer, eat two meals, eliminate my bowels AND my bladder, use the Animal Run;
  • learning I can manipulate The Writer if I cry whenever she goes outside without me; and,
  • I get along very well with the kitties!
  • That’s quite a list for Day Five. It’s going to be a great Christmas.

Still though, I miss my friends at the Kennels. Maybe we can drop in for a visit? Very soon? We should probably tell them ahead of time so they don’t mistake me for yet another “drop-off stray” and put me up for adoption!

Stay with me for Chapter Two ~ it is going to be exciting beyond my wildest dream…