The squirrels are acrobatting around the bird feeders. They leap across the snow, scurry up and down the birch tree and settle down for a nice seedy snack. There are three of them this morning and I have to smile at their antics. We’ve never had squirrels this close before, because before…we had Liesl.
Liesl, who would never allow a pernicious squirrel within the perimeter of her domain. And if one would dare to venture close, she would chase it, her whole heart engaged in the pursuit, lungs issuing forth staccato barks. If she was inside and happened to spy a squirrel through the window, she would tense, quiver and then begin the barking, racing from window to window. She’d look at us, pleading to go outside and deal with the invader.
There’s no silken-eared, sweet dog to chase the squirrels anymore. I miss her.
I miss the echo –
of her toenails on
the pumpkin pine boards in the hall
the occasional mad scramble
of feet on wood
when exuberance briefly embraced her,
time-traveling from earlier days.
I miss the whisper and rustle
as she circled about
preparing her bed
in soft piles of
on the bedroom floor
exhaling with a soft whump
when she finally
thumped to the ground.
I miss the scritch scratch
of her jittering legs and
the faint jingle jangle of her collar
as she dream-chased creatures
through the night
quivering with excitement.
There’s silence now.
The squirrels rejoice and
between bursts of sunflower seed gluttony.
And while I smile
at their antics
my heart aches
for my happy brown dog.
Rest in peace
(In the interest of full disclosure and because I’m a total rule follower, I confess that I wrote much of the poetic portion of this post at an earlier date, but I reworked it and added to it after seeing the invading squirrels this morning.)
So hard to lose those four-footed family members. Their going leaves such a giant hole in our lives! Hopefully, there will be another Liesl someday, ok, probably not another Liesl, but another four footed family member with her own squirrels to chase. I love the flow/sound of the poem part of this slice. And I don’t care that it was written earlier. It fits perfectly here.
I love the ay you crafted this, adding words to paint a beautiful picture, We have two labs. They are 13 (brother/sister) and beginning their downward journey. I often look back at the days when they were in their youth, running, chasing, and playing. I can’t imagine not having them with us, but know I’ll look back as you do with love and longing. So sorry for the loss of your precious Liesl.
Totally love this post! It captures Liesl so movingly! I still remember walking Her, or rather having her walk me, when she was just a pup!
It is a beautiful tribute to your girl. You write with beautiful diction and imagery!
Molly, i am honored to be included to follow your “slice” writing. This is beautiful and so true to the heart. Thank you! My dog Shawnee is 9 now and has always kept the squirrels at bay in NC and now in CA! She doesn’t chase cats, just squirrels! i loved that you included her picture, wish i had known her. I listen for the jingling collar to know where she is in my new house. What a beautiful tribute to your furry loved one. Nancy b sue’s friend
Nancy- Thanks for reading and commenting! I do check in with Sue periodically to see how you are and am delighted that we are now linked through this blog. 🙂