Working Dogs

For at least ten thousand years or so
we’ve been with canines. Did you know?
They helped us humans hunt for meat
with stealth and skill and agile feet.

They guard, pull sleds, and herd livestock;
they lead the blind around the block.
If not for dogs, we might not be
here now today — not you nor me!

Oh, here’s my mongrel, yapping at me,
wanting a treat or saying, “Pat me!”
Just eats and sleeps and romps. But, hey,
he’s not a working dog! OK?

My dog won’t bring the paper to me.
When I call, he acts like, “Who, me?”
“Sit,” I say. He starts to bark
or chases squirrels around the park.

My dog just snatched the halibut
clear off my plate. He’s the freshest mutt
this planet’s ever seen. But, hey,
he’s not a working dog! OK?

He gets my bread and gets my bed.
Only for play this dog’s been bred.
You see, he’s not a working hound.
In fact, I work for him year-round.

Plain as the whiskers on his snout,
I am his slave. Without a doubt
I am in thrall to a spoiled creature,
a nose for food his foremost feature.

He’s barking now because he’s bored
or wants a walk or an award
for being the world’s most bratty ... Hey,
he’s not a working dog! OK?


Elisadella's picture
This is fabulous! I know the feeling… I’m living in my dogs home, she calls all the shots…. I work for her too, but she is my service dog, and she has rescued me. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Thanks Miles for such a creative and fun poem.

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