Doggies of the Realm

Illustration by Isidro Xilonzóchitl, copyright Judy Dykstra-Brown, 2020

Doggies of the Realm

In seeking to coordinate the canines of the realm,
they formed a grand committee with a countess at the helm
to account for all the dachshunds and classify the terriers,
find greyhounds in their kennels and yorkies in their carriers,
to track down the grand pyrenees up in the highest rocks,
to record all the lapdogs and dalmatians on their walks.

At first strict in her discipline in separating breeds,
in protecting bloodlines and meeting owners’ needs,
when her helpers warned her that they’d run out of spaces,
she had to capitulate in order to find places.
Since they’d run out of kennels, she had to loosen rules.
She locked labs in the closets, tied boxers to the newels.

Put shih tzus in the cupboards and toy poodles in the drawers,
stored retrievers in the boathouse, tied Chihuahuas to the oars.
She felt she’d scored the jackpot when the prisoners all made bail
and so they handed over the former county jail.
She converted all the cellblocks into canine cages
and began to fill up rosters—pages upon pages.

At first she sorted breeds using a system alphabetical,
but later sorting systems became  more hypothetical,
and as her sorting powers eroded over time,
soon she had her doggies classified by rhyme.
For example, in the cages assigned to standard poodles,
she filled the extra corners with the labradoodles.

She recorded canines of every breed and size—
dogs with every length of hair, in every shape and guise,
until at last she had them all down in black and white—
every wagging tail and every growl and bite.
So the snappers and the lickers, the yappers and the yippers
got to go back home to retrieve their masters’ slippers!!

Prompt words today are realm, coordinate, jackpot, capitulate and walk.

20 thoughts on “Doggies of the Realm

      1. slmret

        In your first reply to Derrick Knight, you commented that this was in a segment for your book that had been cut so you could post the poem and illustration now — did I misunderstand that?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. lifelessons Post author

          Ah.. just cut from the book as the written section was ommitted, but I then used it on my blog and wrote a different poem for the blog. So it isn’t omitted from the blog..I can see what caused the confusion. Since I’m publishing a song to go along with the book, it was just much too long and the song got repetitious, thus we cut an entire verse from the storybook…Too many fingers in the stew.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. lifelessons Post author

          Okay, Janet, here is the part I cut out of the book that this drawing was meant to illustrate:

          Dad took me to a pet store
          to see what puppies cost.
          There were so many cages
          that he and I got lost.

          We saw big dogs and small ones
          and hairy dogs and bare.
          He asked which one I liked the best.
          I said I didn’t care.

          “Any dog will do, Dad,
          I love them all,” I said,
          “Can we just get one? Please, Dad?”
          but he just shook his head.

          We came home empty-handed
          with no dog cuddled there.
          Without my mom’s permission,
          I knew Dad didn’t dare.

          Liked by 1 person


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