Saturday, April 3, 2021

Poem #3- Raising Rooney- CaPR's Rooney of the Rockies"

Rooney at Rooney Ranch, Summer, 2020 (it's privately owned, so you can't go onto the property)

For National Poetry Month, I'm writing a series, "Raising Rooney," in honor of the service dog I have been raising for the last two years. Today's poem is a "found poem" from the Colorado Encyclopedia about Rooney's name. 

"CaPR's Rooney of the Rockies"

CaPR dogs

all have Colorado names like

Dune, Pike, Breckenridge.

We named you Rooney,

Actually CaPR's Rooney of the Rockies.

You are named after Alexander Rooney, 

Settler from Anamosa, Iowa, 

Moved to Colorado

in the spring of 1860.

seeking his fortune in gold 


Rooney settled 

in the foothills

southwest of Denver

In a grassy valley,

with good water

between Mount Hendricks

(now known as Green Mountain)

and a long hogback

now called Dinosaur Ridge

because the footprints of lots of big critters,

mostly Iguanadon, but also 

diplodocus, allosaurus and stegosaurus

have been found there. 

Rooney and his wife Emeline

Grew the ranch to 4400 acres,

Built a two-story stone farmhouse,

raised six children,

regularly interacted with the Ute Indians,

who had been meeting on the land for hundreds of years,

imported shaggy haired Galloway cattle from Missouri,

bred Morgan horses for the US Calvary and British Army

It's been 160 years, 

Alexander Rooney's descendants 

still operate Rooney Ranch,

now the oldest property 

continuously owned by one family

in Jefferson County

The ranch is smaller now

Only 1300 acres,

But the stone farmhouse still stands

and there are still cattle.

And now there is a four-legged descendant,

CAPR'S Rooney of the Rockies.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2021

                                Rooney at Dinosaur Ridge (Summer 2020)


Linda B said...

Love this history I didn't know, Carol. Rooney must be proud to carry it on!

Ramona said...

Loved learning the story of Rooney's name and seeing him pose beside a dinosaur.

Bridget Magee said...

Canine Rooney does his name proud.

Mary Lee said...

What a story!

Anonymous said...

Good Job Ms.wilcox i Love rooney