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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why Dogs Stopped Flying

by Scott Heffernan (bio)

Most of you will probably remember Josh’s post, I Know This Is Going To Make You Mad, regarding his strong dislike of dogs/certain dog owners. I really liked Josh’s post. I thought it was refreshing and funny and needed to be said. A LOT of you felt the same way. What a response! It seems he was a voice for the voiceless. Perhaps dog owners are the new cigarette smokers -- we’ve accommodated their obnoxious behavior long enough, and now it's time to finally speak up and take back our country from their evil grasp.

While I enjoyed Josh’s post, I also happen to be a dog lover. I don’t currently have a dog, but I grew up with one, and I will have one in the near future. When I do have one, I will try not to make the faux pas (paws) that Josh outlined. I love dogs for varioius reasons. To me, they represent loyalty, comfort, and unconditional love. They also possess a certain indefinable nobility that is sometimes fleeting, but often palpable (well, not in all dogs). My dear friend shared with me this obscure yet stirring poem by Ken Brewer, former Utah poet laureate. It beautifully articulates my opinion of our furry friends. I know not everyone feels this way, but I wanted to throw the dog lovers a bone. (Also, I'm really sorry about both puns in this post.)

Why Dogs Stopped Flying

Before humans,
dogs flew everywhere.
Their wings of silky fur
wrapped hollow bones.
Their tails wagged
like rudders through wind,
their stomachs bare
to the sullen earth.

Out of sorrow
for the first humans--
stumbling, crawling,
helpless and cold--
dogs folded their
great wings into paws
soft enough to walk
beside us forever.

They still weep for us,
pity our small noses,
our unfortunate eyes,
our dull teeth.

They lick our faces clean,
keep us warm at night.
Sometimes they remember flying
and bite our ugly hands.

-Kenneth W. Brewer

Image by ScottHeff.

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