Click on photos to enlarge and read captions.
When I brought her home two weeks ago,
she was so tiny I didn’t know
what an excess of energy
was going to be required of me.
One older woman and two old dogs
obsessed with squirrel-patrol and blogs
have taken on a task most bold
raising a puppy six weeks old.
At first it was just her and me
Never was I puppy-free.
My favorite bag, a shoulder sling,
has become her favorite carrying thing.
Her head outside to view the world,
when she preferred, she snugly curled
inside its secure little nest
lined with “her” nightgown now—my best.
But daily life behind tall walls
contains the chance of dangerous falls,
swimming pools and dogs and cats
that have been known to prey on bats—
also each possum, ground squirrel, mouse
that threatens to invade the house.
How are they to know that that
tiny creature is not a rat?
But since she seems to have no other,
Diego’s subbing as godmother
when I need a tiny break
to photograph and write and make.
This new member of their gang
is the one that he’ll harangue
to go here, not over there,
but he is a strange au pair.
He’s so immense and she’s so small
that she is hardly there at all.
This period of tear and raze
is just a usual puppy phase.
She’s active now, without surcease.
There’s little time for rest or peace
for old dogs who need their rest,
but still we do for her what’s best.
Since it’s hard to quantify how long
before she knows what’s right and wrong,
the pool is the greatest threat
we’ve had to deal with as of yet.
So Diego and I keep an eye
to see where present dangers lie.
We herd her from its dangerous rim.
Then she’s distracted by a limb
of palm that’s swaying in the breeze—
a new adventure for her to seize.
Diego follows close behind,
mindful of dangers she might find.
An hour passes, then another
as we share the role of mother.
But, it’s up to me to plan our rest
when, exhausted from her youthful zest,
Diego sinks down for a nap.
So, when Zoe jumps down from my lap,
I chase her down and lift her up.
Too old for such a frisky pup,
I pile the hammock with pillows and
put first her, and then my hand
inside that cave so soft and deep,
stroking ’til she’s sound asleep.
In mere seconds, or so it seems,
Diego, also, falls to dreams.
Spread out in the cool grass,
he snoozes as the hours pass
and Morrie goes to do his thing
beneath where she’s content to swing.
It’s five hours since Zoe first woke me up and at least three hours since I put her in the hammock and she’s still nestled there, sound asleep. This is the first time Morrie has shared a bit in her care. He’s dubious of her puppy ways so keeps his distance, but it looks like he’s found his proper role. Zoe, on the other hand, has been asleep for hours and this is what has given me the time to write this blog. You can see where I’m working in the photo above. Zoe’s hammock is in full view and when I’ve seen it rocking a few times, I’ve gone to check. She was awake, but perfectly happy to remain in her little nest. I’ve had the morning outside in the garden where I’ve not only written the above poem but also taken pictures and videos, trimmed a few plants, marked the limbs I want cut off the pistachio tree and taken down the one hammock which finally split in two when I tried to lie in it. (Yes, I wound up on the stone floor beneath it, thankfully with a pillow right below my tailbone, which has already been broken twice in my life.) I went up to get Zoe’s lunch, but although the other two were very interested in it, she has slept right on, an hour and a half past her usual lunch time. So that’s the Zoe report. She is now two months old and weighs three pounds!!! I’ll be posting a video of her later.