Friday, April 30, 2021

POEM #30- Raising Rooney-

 “I've Got RooneyAll Over Me”

“I’ve got Rooney

all over me,”

says Armando

plucking a yellow hair

from the bottom

of his backpack. 

“I’ve got Rooney

all over me too,”

I think. 

On my navy hoodie,

on the living room couch

where he sleeps

every chance he gets.

Across the backseat

 of my car. 

I’ve got Rooney

all over me 

in other ways too.

His exuberance

as he yanks off his vest

and dances around the room 

inviting me to play.

His intense focus

and eagerness to please

when I put him 

on a long stay

and walk across the room. 

His huge heart

in trying things

that are hard

or scary for him.

He hates metal bleachers

But he would do them if I asked. 

His endless patience

In dealing 

with the little ones 

as he accompanies

a sad four-year-old to class

Or listens to a six-year-old read. 

His huge love

how he bounds across the room

or walks the hall endlessly

with a kid who is 

frustrated or broken-hearted.

He just knows who needs him. 

Soon Rooney

will leave me.

But really he won’t.

I’ve got Rooney 

all over me. 

© Carol Wilcox, 2021

Thursday, April 29, 2021


 Almost every year I've done April poetry,  I've managed to work in an abecedarian. Here is this year's.

Back to school, August 2020 (we didn't actually go to school until November).

"Rooney: An ABCdarian"

Amigo, ally, angel,

Backporch buddy, 

Clandestine couch cuddler,

Deep dirt digger, aka Doctor Destructo,

Excited about everything,

Faithful friend,

Galaxy’s go-to guy,

Happy to host visitors,

Intelligent and intuitive,

Jump on genius,

Killer of computers and cords,

Lover of ladies,

Mischievous mascot,

Never met a stranger,

Outstanding observer of odors,

Patient preschool protector,

Quiet comforter of kids,

Reluctant reading station,

Snoring stuffy assassin, 

Tiny bit timid,

Unabashed admirer of Uncle Craig,

Velcroed vest remover,

Worry wart and water wader (but only if necessary),

eXcellent example of all that is good,

You are loved

From A to Z. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

POEM #28- RAISING ROONEY- Two tri-cubes

When you spend a lot of time with someone, you get to know all of their little nuances. That's definitely true for me, with Rooney. I wonder how long it will take his person to know him well...

Today I'm attempting the tri-cube, a poem that has three stanzas, each with three lines, and each line with three syllables. I wrote two.

"On greeting a special friend"

you extend

to full stretch

yawn widely

people think

that means you’re

calm, relaxed

i know you’re

struggling for 


© Carol Wilcox


"It depends on the situation..."

when i fuss

about work

you are stressed

when I fight

with my sons

you exit

when a kid

needs soothing

you draw close

(C) Carol Wilcox,2021

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Poem #27- RAISING ROONEY- "Excursions"

Service dogs have to be ready to perform in lots of different settings. Pre-COVID, at least once a month, training classes were held somewhere off-site-- a park, a museum, downtown. During the past two summers, we've also gone somewhere every Wednesday. The dogs love, love, love strutting their stuff in public and we usually have lots of fun. 

Tonight's poem is a (bad) acrostic.

Rooney at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, Summer 2020


Every few weeks, without

Xception, we take to the streets

Check out new spaces

Utilize our skills

Review commands

Strut our stuff

Impress onlookers

Outshine everyone

Nail down new learnings and

Show off supremely!

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2021

Monday, April 26, 2021

POEM #26- Raising Rooney

 Pre-Covid, Rooney was a first-grade reading station. Once or twice a week, we'd go down to the first-grade class. During independent reading time, the kids would rotate to stations. Of course, everyone wanted to read to Rooney. He'd be patient for 15 minutes, but then he would get a little bored and start to fidget. And the first graders just kept reading...

I stacked two tankas together to tell this story.

"In Which I Become a First Grade Reading Station"

A reading station? 
Me? I just have to sit here?
Listen to kids read?
Doesn't seem too difficult.
Don't forget to bring my treats.

Wait! I've already
heard this story. Several times.
Can I take a nap?
No? How about tug of war?
Enough reading for today!

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2021

Sunday, April 25, 2021

POEM #26- Raising Rooney- "Your New Owner Should Know..."

One of my students made this using a Google app.

"Your new owner  should know…"

you don't like when people fight
or when they get mad and fuss at their computers,
you also would prefer people did not engage in road rage
and you, like most dogs, 
actually don't like to have your ears scratched
partly because ear scratches
are often followed by cold, smelly drops,
however, you adore booty rubs
and will stand for hours
if someone will scratch, 
that itchy spot 
on your right hip.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Poem #24: Raising Rooney- "Training Class: A Poem in Two Voices"

Rooney and I go to training class together on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. It's always interesting, to put it mildly. He's gotten much better as he's gotten older, but when he was younger, it was awful. We would practice and practice and practice, and then we'd get to class, and he'd see his friends, and get really excited, and forget everything he had ever learned. A poem in two voices seemed the perfect format. 

Rooney at a training class outing, Summer 2020

"Rooney at Training Classes: A Poem in Two Voices"

                                I am a service dog-in-training.

I am a good boy.
                                                     I am a party animal
I go to school every day.
                                                    I go to class twice a month. 
I enter the building calmly. 
                                                    I lunge through the door.
                                                    Mama and I try again
                                                    Usually several times. 
I respond to my name. 
                                                    I don't know my name.
I greet people nicely. 
                                                    I forget four on the floor.
                                                    I lick my trainer's face. 
                                                    I sniff my friends' butts. 
I settle in my bed. 
I go to my sleep. 

                                                    I go to my mat.
                                                    With several reminders.
                                                    I try to settle but my head 
                                                    keeps popping up.
I am very quiet.
Sometimes I snore.    
                                                    I whine a lot.
                                                    Sometimes I bark. 
We practice a lot. 
I know my commands. 
I can recall from half a city block
Even if there are treats on the floor.
                                                Clearly mama doesn't work with me.  
                                                I don't know any commands.
                                                I can recall ten feet. 
                                                but I sometimes take detours
                                                for other dogs. 
I am a good boy. 
                                                I am a party animal. 

                        I am a service-dog-in training.