Tag Archive: Dogs


Cradling his soft fur,

stroking the scars on his face

around his sore and

(always now) runny nose,

we wait for his blood to talk

and the vet to translate.

I look at his collar, and think

of the one just like it

(but with little white skulls

instead of lizards)

that waits on the shelf

for us to plant the garden

and the box of ashes

and I wonder just how many

name tags we can stand

to bury in one year.

Bo’s story.


They say all dogs go to heaven. Me, I think they bring heaven to us. Either way, Snoopy is leaving us behind, and we are shattered.

Snoopy has lived a few lives, city stray at the pound, a little house near the beach, apartments, a house with an electric dog fence, and finally, our forest-edge fenced-yard paradise for dogs. Through it all he’s been the Snoopervisor, the one looking after us, when he wasn’t busy eating furniture or finding the chocolate stash or loaf of bread someone thought they could leave on the counter for just a minute.

He was John’s when I met him, and I like to tell John that he’s the reason I went on that third date. I looked at him and knew that anyone who had a dog this magnificent had to be worth knowing. Thanks, Snoopy, you were right.

In the nine years that I’ve known him, Snoopy has put up with a lot, including Misha, the brindle maniac hound, who arrived in our lives as an 8-week old wild thing, turning everything upside-down. She pulled his shoulder out when we leashed them together, him 100lbs and her less than 10. Still, he stayed steady.

He put up with our foster puppies too, which can be utter madness, tiptoeing when he really had to go outside but didn’t want their attention. He put up with the kids, rolling on him, trying to pick him up, using him as a pillow whenever possible. And he put up with us, our moods, our ups and downs, our long walks and our hurried ones. And when he had enough of any of it, he would just “ROO” his mighty roo, and the room would be his, all traffic stopped. What a mighty Roo.

He’s been loved by so many people, and he’s made all our lives richer. There’s really no words for that, it just is.

So this is how I want to remember him. A solid 100lb soul with humor and personality to spare. A protector who kept us safe, and always made sure we all knew when someone had the audacity to walk their dog past our house. A heavy chin on your lap when you just really needed a heavy chin on your lap. A music lover who never missed a good jam session. A dog so magnificent that I not only wanted that next date, but to join his family. And oh, I’m so glad I did. I’m so grateful for all the time we’ve had. Fourteen years is a long life for a big dog, but it doesn’t seem even close to long enough.

We love you Noopy. Run free wherever good dogs run, no pain, no age, just slobber and handfuls of salmon and chocolate cake. We will always be yours, and always grateful to know you.

Snoopy left us at noon today – Friday 5/26/17, peacefully, in our home, thanks to Lap of Love (https://www.lapoflove.com/). After not eating for days, he managed some McDonalds burger and a touch of chocolate this morning. He was ready. <3

November Poem-a-Day: Day 7

Writer’s Digest prompt: For today’s prompt, write a compulsion poem. On Sundays in autumn, I often feel a compulsion to check how my fantasy football team is doing over and over again. When I was younger, I often felt a compulsion to play Tetris–something about stacking up all those lines. I still often feel compelled to break into song while I make the kids’ lunches each morning before sending them off to school. Maybe your compulsion is writing poems!

Licker problem

She circles us on the bed
Unable to be still in daylight
Reaching with anteater tongue
To touch nose or chin again, again.

Tired and lacking coffee
We resist the best we can
But she has a number to reach
How many licks does it take?

She circles around again
And finds a weaker spot
I giggle in delighted defeat
As she makes each one count.

~ Liesl Dineen 2014

November Poem-a-Day: Day 2

Prompt: “For today’s prompt, write a together again poem. It’s one thing to split up; it’s something else to come back together again. Sometimes getting back together is a good thing; sometimes it’s a bad thing; and sometimes it’s just awkward.”

(I made this about a different kind of love.) :)

Together again

The dance of paws begins
Tap tap tapping on composite floors
Names and numbers, rattling in rapture
Acrobatic leaps, extended tongues
Bodies wriggling with delighted relief
We have returned!
Was it 8 hours, or 8 minutes this time?
It doesn’t even matter one lick

~ Liesl Dineen 2014

The face of Bo


This is the story all about how our lives got flipped-turned upside down… It has nothing really to do with Doctor Who, except you gotta admit, it’s a cool coincidence. The Face of Boe on Doctor Who isn’t what you’d call pretty, but oh so interesting and full of wisdom and stories and stuff. And spoilers, but you can Google that stuff. The face of Bo is pretty darn interesting itself, and yes, wise as well.

Anyway, Bo, the dog that is, came to live with us “for a week or so” a couple of months ago. My friend Nicole is a dog-fostering wonder, but she had something like five dogs in her house at the time, and needed a hand you see. Truth is, I’d seen this dog’s picture, and sort of fell for him. I’m a sucker for a hard-luck story. Bo had been in the shelter for a while, and the staff adored him, but nobody would even consider him because of his face. He had a skin condition as a pup, lots of Prednisone and stuff, and his face is full of scars. I call it character. Some people assumed he was a fighting dog, which is laughable once you meet him. But even when the staff at the Franklin County shelter told people this was the best dog for them, they wanted no part of the little guy (okay, “little” is relative, he’s about 50lbs now, but short).

John and I (my husband John, the bass player for the Stone Age Romeos and dog fanatic), well we’d been sort of planning to maybe foster a dog or so in August. His son is going off to college, and we figured it’d be less chaotic that way. Still, that face… So I posted that sweet face on my Facebook (which, you know, is where you should post faces, right?), and nobody adopted him even though he was on Death Row and so sweet! Then Nic asked for a volunteer to take him for a week while she cleared her house of some dogs (she is fast at getting them good homes!). We knew this was all part of her evil plan to drag us into the foster world, but oooh, that FACE! We filled out paperwork with 2PawsUp, a great foster organization in the Raleigh area, and got ready for our week of Bo.

At the pound, John texted me pictures of the dog on his lap. I was at work, wishing I was there, but I knew he was in love. I’ve seen that look before. He brought Bo home to our two dogs, and realized that the one little problem (Bo was NOT neutered!) was not so little… Bo was pretty fond of sniffing our female hound doggie Misha, and while she was thrilled to have a new playmate, this did not go over well with her Alpha self. There was also the spraying our door-frame thing, which, you know, is at least better with dogs than cats, but still not a pleasant habit. At our urging, his surgery was scheduled within days. We prayed this would fix the few trouble spots, because he really is a super sweet dog!

And hooray! His sniffing/humping problem went away almost entirely, and in a day or two he was romping with Misha in his Cone of Shame, happy as, well, happy as a dog rescued from Death Row could be I suppose! Anyway, Nicole stayed in close touch, and gave me great advice on how to “whore him out” to potential owners. We took him everywhere, and I told his story many times, and people loved him, but they never called. I brought him to an adoption event for foster dogs, but everyone there was fostering or full already it seemed, serious dog people tend to do that…

Anyway, John and I have one of those relationships where neither of us wants to be the boss, so we end up waiting for the other one to say something, and we try to be agreeable but we end up bickering over those weird gaps in conversations. It’s pretty normal from what I see out there. So we’d have these conversations…

Me: So… I mean, he really is a great dog. What if…
John: I know, he’s so awesome. But if we kept him, we couldn’t save any other dogs. I want to save all the dogs I can.
Me: Sigh. I know, you’re right. We got into this to help as much as we can.
John: Sigh.  

So yeah, that. Plus the taunting of friends and family who will tell you eagerly they KNEW we were going to keep this dog. I hate you people. No, not really, sheesh. But it did make it hard for two stubborn people to admit “defeat” and just take the damn dog, you know. A week or so ago, we finally managed to admit it to one another out loud, but I knew John was still feeling a little defeated, so I posted this on his Facebook wall:


The Likes poured in, and that was that. And yes, people are still hollering the “I told you so”s at us, but what the heck, they’re right, they really DID tell us so. And John did in fact make this his profile picture, and Bo has a fancy new collar and tag, and hey, a very happy family to go with his glorious face.


Day Two


579743Today’s prompt is from NaPoWriMo on Facebook:

Write from the perspective of an animal.

I chose a subject very near and dear to my heart. If you share this love, please consider checking out the SPCA, and see how you can help!



When the humans come
The older ones read the sign on my door
That says I’m older too, and may take a little work
They shake their heads and walk away

When the humans come
The children notice me, and smile and reach
And call my name as if I’m someone special
Until their parents take their smiles away

When the humans come
The volunteers bring me food and love
And tell me I’m okay and I’m safe for now
Before they move on to the next cage over

When the humans leave
The sounds of all the others flood my ears
And my nose breathes in their fears and sorrows
And I wait for tomorrow for the humans to come

~Liesl Dineen, 2014

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