Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Poem #30/30- "Dog Days"

Poetry Month is over,  but I couldn't stand that I had written 29 poems instead of 30, 
so I wrote two poems today.  I'm ending with a tanka.

"Dog Days Are Ending"

every dog has his day
but I am dog gone happy,
Poetry Month's done, 
writer's notebook is dog-eared
and this poet's dog tired.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Dog Days #29/30- "You Won't Be Mine"

This is just a yellow lab I found on line, not the puppy I will actually be raising. 
The end of the month seems like a perfect time to announce some big news. For a couple of years, I have been volunteering with Canine Partners of the Rockies, an organization that raises mobility dogs for people with physical challenges. I've decided to take the plunge, and sometime after May 22, I'm going to become a puppy mom. For the next two years, I'll be raising a yellow lab, who was born in California, and will be arriving in Denver whenever they can get him here. I'm excited, and more than a little nervous, about this new adventure. This poem is for him.

"You Won't Be Mine"

I'll potty train you,
wake up when you whimper,
teach you to walk on a leash.

I will love you,
but you won't be mine.

I'll teach you sit and down and stay,
buy toys and treats,
take you to the vet.

I will love you,
but you won't be mine.

I'll cuddle with you,
know where you like to be scratched,
let you give me doggy kisses.

I will love you,
but you won't be mine.

And then someday,
I will hand your leash
to someone else.

I will love you,
but you won't be mine.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Monday, April 29, 2019

Dog Days- 28/30

April, and National Poetry Month, are almost over. My theme this year has been "Dog Days." I'm writing thirty poems about dogs, and I missed a day, so if I'm actually going to pull it off, I have to write two poems tomorrow. Not sure that will happen. Anyway, this week I have been writing poems about dog tails, and dog teeth, today is about a dog's sense of smell. I found two really interesting articles, here,  and here. At first I was going to try to embed more facts into the poem, but yesterday's effort was pretty much a disaster, and so I decided  to keep it simple tonight

"Splendidly Stinky"


(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Poem #27/30- Dog Days

Saturday, April 27, 2019


April is National Poetry Month. I've always been intrigued by poets who manage to create poems from nonfiction. Today I decided I would try it. It was really, really hard and took a really, really long time! I got the information for this poem from a Psychology Today article.

"Tale of  a Tail"
A wagging tail is a doggy-phone.
That action's not happening when the dog is alone
Puppies' tails  wag at about six weeks,
Little guys learn, "Hey, my tail speaks!"

A tail that hangs means life is quiet,
Frantic wagging shows, "Life's a riot."
Flat and out says, "Let's explore,"
A tail held under shouts,  "Fear galore."

Broad swishing says, "Hello, please pet!"
High-sitting tail might signal, "Threat!"
Tail that's happy pulls to the right.
Left-placed tail might mean, "Let's fight."

Yep, the doggie's tail has lots to say,
And it helps the dog in other ways. 

The tail provides stability
It's part of dog's mobility
Helps with running, leaping, turning
Loss of tail would be concerning.

The tail also helps when dog's in water
that long appendage is a perfect rudder.
When a dog wants to signal he's alpha guy,
A wag spreads scent both far and wide.

Some might think the tail's just pretty,
It's function is actually way more than beauty.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Friday, April 26, 2019

Poem #25/30- Dog Days

April Poetry Month. My theme, "Dog Days." Every day, this feels harder. A golden shovel poem tonight. 

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."  Rodger A. Caras.

People who have had dogs 
can tell you they are
hairy and slobbery and demanding and not
always willing to adapt to our
schedules or appreciate our pristine yards, and basically they are a whole
lot of work, and yes, life
is more complicated when you to run home to let the dog out but
when we come home and dogs leap and wag their tails they
definitely cause us to smile and make
us feel as if we are the sun and the moon and the stars and our
tedious frustrating broken lives
suddenly feel much more whole.
(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Poem #24/30- Dog Days

Not sure what happened . This was posted last night (Ramona can attest to this because she commented), then I had a typo and pulled it back to correct it. I thought I re-published it, but then when I went back to check it was gone. Yesterday, when I was driving to school, I saw the world's cutest Golden Retriever puppy, out for a morning potty break. Then, 12 hours later, on the way to Spanish class, I saw a super cute black lab puppy.

Bookends from a dog watcher's day....

six am
golden retriever 
sits placidly
exact cebbter
of sidewalk square
while twenty something owner
clad in flannel bathrobe
does potty dance
on chilly April morning

six pm
two men chat across picket fence
while black lab pup
sporting new red collar
wriggles in owner's arms
anxious to share puppy kisses
with his new neighbor

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Poem #23- Dog Days- Jack Black

Jack Black, with his ever present gallon jug
April is National Poetry Month. The theme I've chosen this year is "Dog Days."Almost every day, for the entire month, I am trying to write a poem about dogs. I'm kind of getting to that time of the month when it's hard going. I'm not sure whether I'm really writing poems or telling stories. I am having a terrible time with endings. Anyway, for tonight, this is all I've got.

"Jack Black"

before we went into the animal shelter
I sternly told my son
that we were not bringing home a dog
and most definitely not a puppy.
I am not sure then,
how we ended up with you
an eight-week-old
black and brown
lab rottweiler mix

you adored me
from that first day
you followed me joyfully
from room to room to room
you cried if I shut the bathroom door
each morning I woke
with you pressed against my back
not a centimeter separated us

you adored Star
followed that Houdini on many a trek
out the back gate, down the alley,
around the block to the middle school
there was that one rainy day
when I got a phone call
that someone had found you.
I retrieved the two of you
out of the back
of a gleaming black BMW
the very kind owner assured me
that a good cleaning
would get rid of all of the mud
the two of you had tracked into her car

you adored toys
especially balls and stuffies,
you knew exactly how to
find the squeakers
and tear them out
you could destroy a fifteen dollar dog toy
in about ten minutes, it's lucky then
that you were just as happy
old gallon milk jugs
and those were a little more indestructible
I'd throw them and you'd bring them back
again and again and again
"Please mom, just one more time."

you adored socks and dish towels and underwear
and ate them with unabandoned relish
only to wake hours later
groaning in pain
the first surgery, the one
to remove a .99 Walmart washrag from your belly
cost me $5000
I couldn't come up with $8000
for another surgery six months later

Jack, sweet Jack,
no one would accuse you
of being the world's smartest dog
but you sure knew how to love

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Poem #22- Hot Dogging It

April is National Poetry Month. My theme this month is "Dog Days." I'm trying to write approximately thirty poems about dogs, or in the case of this poem, loosely related to dogs. I love baseball almost as much as I love dogs. Tonight, I went to my first Rockies game of the season. While the outcome wasn't great (the Rockies lost 6-3), it's always fun to be at Coors Field, on a beautiful spring night. It's not so fun, though, to get home at 11:00 and realize you have not written your poem for the day! Whoops! A quick almost tanka will have to do!

"Hot Dogging It"

Unwrapped at ball game,
Charred black over campfire,
Barbeque skewered,
Mustard, onion, pickle relish,
Could anything taste better?

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Monday, April 22, 2019

Poem 21/31- A Dog that Bites

April is National Poetry Month. I've selected "Dog Days" as my theme, and am attempting to write thirty dog-related poems. Tonight's poem is a story poem about Boo. Boo was a puppy mill mama, churning out litter after litter of puppies. She was finally rescued, and my mom adopted her from the Mill Dog Rescue. My mom had her for a year or so, maybe even closer to two, when she had surgery and was no longer able to care for a dog. I volunteered to bring Boo home with me. I only had her for about two years, and then she had a liver problem, and had to be put to sleep.

"A Dog that Bites"

puppy mill mama
you bit my finger
the day i brought you home
we were in the backyard
it was dark
you were the tiniest dog
I had ever owned
I was afraid I would  lose you
so I tried to pick you up
and you drew blood

later i understood your rules
you didn't tolerate being picked up
unless i asked permission first
you liked to observe the world
from your pink princess bed
in the corner of the living room
you wanted your food
brought to the princess bed
you would eat it from a bowl
but you preferred if i just dumped it
right into the corner of the bed
it had to be soft and mushy
because you didn't have many teeth left
you would sit on the couch with me
while i did schoolwork
but you did not want to sit too close
nor did you want to cuddle or be petted

your needs were simple, Boo
you just wanted a safe, quiet place
with people who understood your prickly little heart
and knew that you didn't bite
unless you felt afraid

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Sunday, April 21, 2019

20/31- Dog Days

Happy National Poetry Month! This month I'm writing a series of 30 poems about dogs. Today is a story poem about my dog Star. Star is an eager eater, to put it mildly. Since she was a puppy, she's been notorious for digging food out of the trash, snatching food off of the counter, and even finding food when we are out walking. As she has aged, her caloric intake has impacted her weight just a little. My vet reminds me every time we go that carrying extra weight is not good for her. I know that, and I try really hard, but...

"Maintaining Her Girlish Figure"

Dr. Margo examines Star's chart.
"She's gained a little weight," she says.
"What are you feeding her?
Senior Weight Loss," I respond.

I wonder if I should mention
the empty tuna can she managed to snag off the counter
or the moldy hamburger buns she dragged out of the trash earlier today
and then there's the oreo she snatched out of my hand this morning
and my son's hamburger helper pan which made quite the crash
as she pulled it off the stove last night.
Two nights ago when we were out walking
she found a discarded ham and cheese sandwich
on the south side of the middle school
and she chased that with a half slice of pizza
she discovered on the north side.
Then last night, there was
that half-eaten Chinese takeout box
a treasure she discovered at construction site
and the bread crusts at the Italian restaurant around the corner.

How much do you feed her? the vet asks.
"One cup, twice a day." I answer firmly.
"I use a measuring cup."

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Poem #19/30- A Dog-Eat-Dog World

I found these cute babies here when I googled Dog-Eat-Dog World.
I love Golden Retrievers and couldn't resist!
I'm feeling a little bummed today, because I missed posting yesterday. I didn't do it intentionally- I posted the link for my Thursday night poem as my link on Poetry Friday. It was a really long week and  when I got home last night, I was really tired. Somehow, I got confused and thought I had already written my Friday poem, when really all I had done was post the link to my Thursday poem on Friday.  This morning, when I was more clearheaded, I realized my mistake. Maybe I will end the month with 29 poems, or maybe I will write two poems one day, or maybe I will go until May 1st. Not sure yet....

"A Dog-Eat-Dog World"

It's a dog-eat-dog world.

If you want to be the alpha dog
you will have to demonstrate dogged determination,
work like a dog, and even if
you are dog tired or sick as a dog
you will still have to dog paddle 
and keep your head above water.
Expect to put on an occasional dog and pony show. 

There will be times 
when you will feel like the tail is wagging the dog
or everything is going to the dogs
avoid barking up the wrong tree
Understand that everyone spends some time in the dog house.

In spite of your best intentions,
expect to encounter a lot of dogfights.
Do not act like a hot dog
or rub people's fur the wrong way
understand that many people's bark is worse than their bite
sometimes it's best to let sleeping dogs lie
but you can teach an old dog new tricks
if you throw them enough bones
if you do have to fight, know when to call off your dogs
occasionally you might even have to turn tail
and slink away with your tail between your legs.

Remember, it's a dog-eat-dog world. 

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Poem 18/30- Dog Days

Baxter, a chiweenie looking for a home

April is National Poetry Month. I have chosen "Dog Days" as my theme, and every day this month, I will be attempting to write a poem having to do with dogs. Today's poem is totally ridiculous. Tonight, on the neighborhood website, someone shared a picture of Baxter, a "chiweenie" (chihuahua/dachshund) that she is currently fostering. That got me thinking about other "designer dogs." I knew about golden doodles, and my search led me to two other websites, with all kinds of cross-breeds. A lot of them are really fun to say, and I just kind of started messing around with them. The poem has absolutely no deeper meaning, it was just kind of fun to play around with...

"Designer Dogs"

golden doodle, labradoodle
double doodle, chusky

chiweenie, malador
cheagle, alusky 

yorktese, yorkipoo
yoranian, chug

puggle, pittplot
papshund, frug

beabull, labrabull
sharpassett, dorgi

schnoodle, cockapoo
cavador, morkie

Designer dogs are not for me
 Heinz 57 fits perfectly!

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

And in case you didn't get enough, here are some more I considered using...
beaglier, labradinger, pomski, germanpei, bassettpei, corgipoo, labradinger, papateese,aussie doodle, golden dachs, gerberian shepsky, goberian, weimardoodle, jack-a-poo, basschund, cavador, bo-jack, jackshund, cavachon pomchi

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Dog Days- #17/30- A Dog-Filled Life

Therapy dogs at Walter Reed Hospital. The golden retriever is Warrior Canine Connection's Lucy. 
April is National Poetry Month. This year, I've chosen "Dog Days" as my theme. Every day, for these thirty days, I will write a poem about dogs. Today's poem is an abecedarian. I usually do one of these every year. It's not a one day process; I usually create a post with the alphabet really early in the month, and then mess around with the letters, adding ideas as they come to me, until I feel like I'm ready to post. I hate "o" this year, but it's the best I can do...

"A Dog-Filled Life"

an abundance of
barking and begging,
chasing and chomping,
diligent digging (and a great deal of drooling),
ecstatic eating,
frantic fetching,
glorious garbage-digging,
happy heeling, and  horrific hairiness, 
instinctive intelligence,
joyful jumping,
kissing and caring, 
leashes and loving,
muzzling and mouthing,
nudging and nuzzling,
opening and closing,
playful paddling
quiet cuddling,
raucous romping,
sandwich scrounging and sock stealing,
tail thumping and toenails tapping,
underwear eating,
vim and vigor,
wild wagging and a little whining,
extra energy gives way to exhaustion
yawning and finally…

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Dog Days- 16/30


Most owners adopt dogs
but you adopted me
on that rainy November morning.
You planted your muddy yellow paws
on the front of my lavender raincoat,
enthusiastically licked my face
and declared me yours.

I knew you had followed someone to school
and so I dragged you back into the building
sure that the secretary would say,
"That's Cinderella, she visits every morning."
She would call your owner who would come and get you
and I would go on my way.

But that's not what happened.
Instead we stood, dripping on the marble floor
 in the middle of the two story vestibule.
Your howl bounced off the high ceilings
until  finally the principal kicked us out
and I took you home.
No one ever claimed you
and so I became yours.

You lived with more gusto
than any dog I had ever known.
The first month you ate through three leashes.
You  knew how to open the refrigerator
and took the word "doggie bag" literally
You loved to swim and had a knack for pulling away at the park.
Ramsey and I would sit on the banks of the stinky duck pond,
watching you paddle joyfully back and forth,
and waiting for you to tire
so we could go home.
You were so naughty.

And yet, when the boys came,
with their broken hearts and broken spirits
you jumped right into the role of therapy dog.
As soon as you heard one of the boys
start to tantrum
(and there were so many that first year)
you came immediately
from the farthest corner of the house
and laid down next to them.
And they would scream and rail and cry
and throw things at me with one hand
while petting you with the other.
You laid there until they were quiet
and then a little longer,
just to make sure.

You, Maggie girl,
were a four-footed angel.
sent into my life
become someone knew
I would need you someday.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019

Poem 15/30- Dogs Teach Us Many Lessons

Tonight when I was trying to find the article about lung cancer,
I found a whole different article about using dogs to detect stomach cancer. 
April is National Poetry Month. This year, I've chosen "Dog Days" as my theme. Every day, for these thirty days, I will write a poem about dogs. Today's poem is a found poem. This morning, on the way to work, I heard about a study, where dogs were able to detect lung cancer with 97% accuracy.  Tonight, when I was trying to write a poem, I hunted down the article and made it into a found poem. 

"dogs teach us many lessons"

dogs teach us many lessons

highly evolved 
sense of smell 
can identify cancer 
in blood samples 
with 97 percent accuracy

it is possible
that researchers will determine 
the biologic compounds
dogs detect
then design
cancer-screening tests
based on those compounds

dogs teach us many lessons

provide us 
with unconditional love 
and support, 
 and keep us walking 
and healthy 

dogs teach us many lessons

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Dog Days- 14/30

Debbie and Shadow at the airport, when she picked him up
Today's "Dog Days" poem is dedicated to my dear friend, Debbie. Debbie and I taught together about 15 years ago. Two years ago, when I ran into her at a training, she was accompanied by Shadow, an enormous black labrador retriever, who she was training to be a service dog. For more than three years, Shadow literally was Debbie's shadow- he went everywhere with her- to work,  to family gatherings, to social events- everywhere!

Over spring break, I met Debbie at the the service dog office, and she surrendered Shadow to his forever mom, a woman who became a quadriplegic after a diving accident. Even though Debbie and Shadow had been working toward that day for more than three years, and even though she had had a couple of months to prepare, it was still really hard to say goodbye. Today's poem is dedicated to Debbie and the huge gift she gave to the world through her work with Shadow.

"For Debbie and Shadow"
She met him at the airport
not very tall, but definitely dark and handsome
on that day two became a team
she was the center of his universe

she survived house breaking and teething
bought bones and balls and squeaky toys
taught him forty-something commands
took him to classes and appointments and meetings

he loved her classroom
delighted in being the center of attention in social settings
adored family celebrations
and grieved at family sadnesses

from the very beginning
she knew their relationship was temporary
another would reap the benefits
of all that work
all that caring
all that loving

even so
when it was time for him
to fulfill his bigger purpose
he took a chunk of her heart

with him

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Debbie and Shadow in February, on strike with the Denver teachers

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Poem 13/30- Dog Days

Zuni (Zoo-Knee, a Native American tribe) and Zeb (after Zebulon Pike, who discovered Pikes Peak) are CaPR's newest puppies. In these pictures, they are about ten weeks. Now they are five months. 

April is National Poetry Month. This year, I've chosen "Dog Days" as my theme. Every day, for these thirty days, I will write a poem about dogs. Today's poem came after I spent the morning at CaPR (Canine Assistance Partners of the Rockies). First, I attended the puppy class, four sweet babies, ages 5-9 months. Zeb and Zuni (pictured above) are the youngest. It's been amazing to see how quickly they grow, they've gone from being cute, cute babies to being "naughty middle schoolers" almost over night. Next, I attended the class for older dogs. At that class, there were six dogs- Xandy and Nia (15 months), Thatcher, Uly and Valor, who are about two, and Quimby- who is pushing four. It's comical to see the differences in behavior between the younger dogs and the older dogs. The younger dogs want to do a good job and they try hard, but the world is an interesting place, and sometimes, it's really hard to focus. Not sure why, but visions of my sixth graders dancing through my head. Tonight I wrote a haiku and a tanka.  I wish I had better titles…

"In WhichPuppies Grow"

sweet canine yardsticks
measuring time's fleet passage 
how quickly babies grow…

"Canine Middle Schoolers"
overnight, sweet puppies 
become mouthy adolescents
voicing opinions
questioning authority
four-legged middle schoolers

"Reflections of a Service Dog Puppy after a Hard Day at Class"

Mom, when we walked in the door,
you reminded me I need to be quiet
and I want to do that, I really do
but when I get here,
there's so much I need to tell you
and other things I need to tell my friends
and sometimes a bark or two just pops out…

Mom, you said heel
and I got this, I really do
but there's that yellow guy over there
his tail is wagging
and he smells so interesting
and he wants to be my friend
and sometimes I just have to be a little friendly…

Mom, you said leave it
and I understand, I really do
but there's this yellow ball in my path
and it squeaks when I pick it up
and I'm pretty sure you want to play with me....

Mom, this service dog stuff 
is hard work
Can't I just be a regular puppy?

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Friday, April 12, 2019


I've been volunteering with a service dog organization for about two years. This is Reudi, a three-year-old lab, that was placed with is forever partner, a woman who was injured in a diving accident, a couple of weeks ago. 

April is National Poetry Month. This year, I've chosen "Dog Days" as my theme. My goal is to write a dog-related poem every day this month. April is also testing month in Colorado. The tests are grueling. Depending on kids' accommodations, the reading and writing sessions this week were between two and three hours long, with no breaks.  I had the kids in the afternoon and they were exhausted and grumpy and not all that much fun. On Tuesday, the first day of testing, I read some poems from Dear World, by Takayo Noda. I wrote a poem about dogs, then invited them to write about anything they wanted.  The kids wrote about all kids of things- the ocean, friends, soccer, baseball, and a few dogs. Here is mine (definitely first draft!) and a few dog-related ones that kids wrote. I loved that poetry allowed some of the kids, including the ones below, who had had a really hard morning to relax and have fun and be really successful. 

Dear Dog,

For as long
as I can remember
you have been
my favorite animal

I love your
wagging tail
boundless energy
loyal heart

You are my favorite
walking partner
couch cuddler
comfort when I am sad

I wish
more people
were like dogs.

© Carol Wilcox, 2019

From one of my friends that has been in the United States for two years and speaks only Spanish at home.

“Dear Dog Sky”

I like your hair
even though it’s dirty
And  even though
It’s tangles.

I like when you
Sleep face up
And it makes
you pretty

I know
when you bark me,
you ask me for food
Or water

every day you grow more
I will love you

By E

Dear Dogs,

I love how you cuddle with me.
I love how you always make me happy when I’m sad, or not.
I like how you sleep outside of my room, and in the entryway to protect me.

I like how you play with me,
I like how you dance with me,
I like how you cuddle with me.

It’s when you,
Wag your tail,
Play with me and together,
When you lay on my pillows and blankets.

So thank you.
I love you Zelda and Izzy,



Dear Dav Pilkey
tell me how can you
do the drawings so good
and your stories are too funny and fun
because the Flip O Ramas
and drawing one of the characters
is very fun
to do that activity.

Tell me when
are you going to do
a new Dog Man book
please tell me the date
or until next year

because i really love
Dog Man stories
of you
Dav Pilkey
they're too funny.


One of my favorite poets, Irene Latham, is hosting Poetry Friday this week. She's doing "happy" poems based on art this month. Check them out!