My big boy, my best friend, my Buddy
Startles me with his sudden barking.
Are there coyotes prowling outside in the black night
I ask, as he lifts his head and his bark almost becomes a howl,
A warning, followed each time by a low grumble of concern.
Maybe it’s just the deer in the garden again, browsing on what’s left of the kale.
Something is nearby, prowling through this black night, claiming it as its own.
The woods are full of eyes, solitary beings, or packs of them we can only imagine.
The night belongs to them now. My ownership means nothing.
My loyal shepherd wants out to defend us.
But I pat his handsome head as he looks at me with worried, loving eyes.
And I tell him, don’t worry, we’re safe in the light behind these walls
And in the morning you’ll have new scents to pick up and territory to mark
To your heart’s content, my big, beautiful boy, my loyal friend.
And he inclines his head in that curious way Shepherds have, listening carefully.
We’re okay, I tell him gently, I’m okay. And he lifts his paw for a touch of my hand.