It’s true I can decipher after all these years
every little wiggle, each twitching of their ears.
See that head’s uplifting? The garbageman is near.
That ruff of neck spells danger. Tail between legs means fear.
One whine warns of a squirrel invading territory
intended for two dogs alone. Then barks are mandatory!
Sirens were meant for harmony—their plaintive howls a must.
Head bowed down submissively signals respect and trust.
They also know my language. When I move to the door
three rooms away to feed the cats, I hear their hungry roar.
Up against the back door, starving paws commence to scrape.
If I had plans to skip their meal, now there is no escape.
It is their task to let me know when feeding time is close,
and when I move at snail’s pace, they become quite verbose.
The younger dog, much better trained, awaits me in his cage,
surprised at how the older dog dares to jump and rage.
Ordered outside, he edges closer, full of twists and flounces.
The minute that the bowls are lowered, he charges in and pounces.
Then each is most fastidious in licking clean his plate,
fearing that starvation is a likely fate.
They keep a vigilant watch on me, peering through the bars
between the terrace and kitchen, as I open jars.
They hear the fridge door opening, they see each morsel fall.
If they ever get inside, they will devour them all.
And when perchance they sneak inside, against their master’s wishes,
take on the chore of licking clean all the old cat’s dishes.
How else might they show gratitude, with no words to express it?
They simply have to wag their tails and hope that I might guess it!