Curled up in the Corner

How shall I not adore them, snoozing
right through the Annunciation? They inhabit
the outskirts of every importance, sprawl
dead center in each oblivious household.

They’re digging at fleas or snapping at scraps,
dozing with noble abandon while a boy
bells their tails. Often they present their rumps
in the foreground of some martyrdom.

What Christ could lean so unconcernedly
against a table leg, the feast above continuing?
Could the Virgin in her joy match this grace
as a hound sagely ponders an upturned turtle?

No scholar at his huge book will capture
my eye so well as the skinny haunches,
the frazzled tails and serene optimism
of the least of these mutts, curled

in the corners of the world’s dazzlement.
~David Graham “The Dogs in Dutch Paintings” from The Honey of Earth.

They are part of the scenery, always there, close by and near enough to touch, yet taken for granted until they are gone.

What would I do without them during times like these, when I need their steady gaze and happy wag? They look right into my eyes, trying to discern what I’m thinking and what I’ll do or say next, so I am held to a higher standard. These four-footed fluffy fellows are my conscience, reminding me my motives are always scrutinized.

They may be in the background of the old masterpieces, curled in the corners, just part of the furniture, but day in and day out their love and loyalty dazzle me, remaining front and center in my heart.

5 thoughts on “Curled up in the Corner

  1. I lived on a farm for 70 years and most of those years we had a dog and some cats. Animals are a blessing.
    I now live in an apartment in a community of 290 plus other renters. It just amazes me how many people here have dogs. My passtime these days is watching people walk their dogs. Animals are comforting, but I think…
    Is it fair to have a big dog confined to such a small space.
    I also think in our society pets are sometimes treated better than our children.
    Sorry about being so negative this morning, but that’s the kind of morning I am having.
    I am virus weary…for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anytime our animals are preferred over children, there is a problem! They are a joy, but they aren’t the legacy we leave behind to better the world. I’m right there with you, Linda!


  3. Wish there was a “love” for this. Our little long-haired doxie, Sadie, is just as you said. She is a big part of our life, long story, but her constant love and steadiness is both comforting and appreciated. Amazing how someone who doesn’t completely understand what we say, seems to truly discern the heart. When we are down or sick, she comes to our sides and must be touching us. No words to express our love for this gentle little soul. Thanks for this. ♥


  4. Great to see the ‘boys’ again.
    Sam always seems to look as if he is still on duty. He does take his job seriously. His coat is such a lovely
    soft-hued color.
    Homer, on the other hand, ‘lets it all hang out.’ He still looks like a puppy and, as such, Sam probably gives him
    a small degree of latitude in his training . One thing has not changed — he still has those wistful teasing eyes.
    Has he ever been a daddy?

    Liked by 1 person

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