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 based on my dog, Star. Star is a black lab/german shorthair mixed. We got her when she was six weeks old; a man at the grocery store was selling puppies out of the back of his truck, and of course, we had to have one. For years, she was super high energy and needed lots of exercise. Now, at 12, she is really slowing down. She has arthritis and despite two supplements, she has trouble getting up off of the floor, and also climbing the six stairs to go outside. Often times, she just sits at the bottom whimpering until I help her. Last night, she woke me up at 1:47. This haiku came to me as I was helping her go up the stairs. I ran to my computer and jotted it down in about five minutes, then cleaned it up just a little this morning.
old dog climbing stairs
she pauses at the base
gazes toward summit, those six stairs
are her mount everest
(c) Carol Wilcox
There are so many terrific poetry offerings on the web this month. One of my favorites, even though it makes me cry every day, has been Amy Ludwig Vanderwater's Poemstory, at The Poem Farm. The poems are sequential, so you will want to start with Poem #1, but they are all 15 lines or less, so it doesn't take ver long to read them.
"her Mount Everest" I've been there with a dear old dog in the past, Carol. And Tara just wrote a similar post about her dog, Sophie. It is sad when you begin to know they're getting old. Your haiku is perfect for this time.
Yes, sometimes the stairs are exactly that! Our dog had the same difficulty with the one step out of our house. It's hard to watch them have a hard time with something they once did with ease.
This perfectly captures the challenge of old dogs. For Roxy's last few months, we had to carry her up and down four stairs to the door to go out, but of course we were happy to do it as long as otherwise her quality of life appeared good.
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