Santa by Pat



1985 ----- October 2 1999

Irish Setter

My Autumn Dog


It is the autumn of the year

With its golds oranges and reds.

You are my autumn dog

With your rusty coat.

They named you Santa

For your red coat,

But got the color and the season wrong.

We matched you and I

Till I too entered my autumn.

You came to me in the early autumn,

A Labour Day 12 years ago.

I was alone and you abandoned for a second time.

We bonded on that autumn day.

I promised you I'd never let you go,

But the time has come.

It is again autumn and

You will leave us tomorrow forever.

I will remember you for your beauty loyalty

And mostly for your love.

You were forever with us.

Santa who went to work with me

And waited for my visits at breaks.

Santa who went with me everywhere.

Santa who found every way to escape from the hated kennel.

Santa who yodeled when I came home,

Santa who accepted Puppy Kate.

Santa who was friendly to all who came.

Santa who ran for the joy of it.

Santa who went on trail rides and walks with us.

Santa who barked non stop at the horses.

Santa who spent your evenings in the arena with me

Or in the computer room with Vic.

Santa who cuddled on the bed with me

And would not let me up till I had patted you enough.

Santa who will not be with us after tomorrow.

Know that we have loved you as you have loved us.

Santa when you awaken beyond

May you run for the joy of it

And know you are with us forever.

Good-bye my Autumn dog




The music in a dog for Santa


My fingers long to play

gentle glissandos

over the molten copper of your fur,

and tease behind your ears

for a long contented groan like some low bassoon.


All you ever asked,

that we be there to receive

your solos of boundless love

and occasionally shelter you in our arms

from the celestial percussion of thunderstorms.


Bach's music in the background,

so often you sat patiently

never critiquing,

never offering false assurance,

while I planned and fretted

at the computer,

and when a crescendo

of anthropoidal anxiety

shivered my soul,

your warm breath at my knee

was love's continuo

resolving worries into serenity.


And when I slouched up the steps,

dragging metallic dissonance home from the factory,

I could always see you jigging there,

perilously perched on the bookshelf

to glimpse out the high window,

long ears flipping,

long tongue flapping,

in the joy of your dance,

and the key in the lock

was your cue to commence

an antic hornpipe of howls

choreographed to end

with your head in my hand.


Music exists only in time,

but time ends all music,

and time at last,

first slowed then stopped,

the merry metronome

of your tail.


By the cedar hedge

where the cardinal calls

may earth enfold you in

the endless symphony

of the seasons and the stars.