My young sons named her, I referred to her
as child support number two;
the fist was Malo, a large doberman, who adopted
Skippy, grooming her puli braids, pulling ticks
and tag alongs by teeth, one large paw
across her back.
She hunted with him and grew strong and broad
in the chest following his huge strides
up the mountain. Malo met with a 20 ought 20
shot, leaving Skippy gun shy,
but no less adventuresome.
We pulled her off a fawn
and once out of a trap she'd lugged home on her back leg.
Then one fall, I had to swim across a cold river
to coax her back home, untangling fishing line caught
in her matted hair. She was the last of the puli line,
her father, Toogoodoo from Natty and Faramir's last litter
raised in the kitchen.
When she became incontinent, sleeping through walks,
no longer lusting ground and smell,
I put her down, holding on tight.
She runs through my dreams, and I call her
until I wake standing in a wood alone.