The four legged friend, Gunner.

He loved me. 

We were great friends.

Always so pleased to see each other,

Even for a quick visit.

 

With permission,

He would run over to my house,

Seek me out,

Accept my affection,

Then return home just as happy.

 

Gunner was a beautiful black lab,

Who was ridiculously happy.

His rapidly wagging tail

Never stopped.

 

Although Gunner’s home was next door,

I felt like he was my fur friend.

He was smart and friendly

And I felt special

Because he showed my great trust. 

 

Gunner’s family were going on a holiday.

His Grandparents were going to check in on him. 

Gunner was a nervous guy.

He never ate well when his family was away.

They worried about him when they were gone. 

 

I invited Gunner to spend the week at my house. 

Although I had never had a dog,

I thought I knew Gunner well enough,

To be able to care for him for one week.

 

His parent’s brought over his bed,

His homemade treats and his water dish.

They gave me instructions.

They gave me thanks.

 

Gunner was a memorable house guest. 

He fit into my family life perfectly.

Cat included.

We didn’t have to change a thing...

Well, except for clearing off the coffee table

Due to his ever moving tail. 

 

I was most nervous about understanding his toileting needs.

Gunner put my worries to rest. 

He slept all night that first night

I put his bed right beside my bed.

He liked to be near me.

As the first dawn broke,

I woke to find Gunner staring at me.

His nose as close to mine without touching. 

He acknowledged he needed to go outside. 

 

Gunner dashed out the open door,

But did not leave the deck. 

I re-iterated the urination command

In as many varieties as I could create,  

Hoping I to find the one his parent’s used. 

 

Nope. 

Gunner just danced right and left.

I watched him.

He repeatedly looked at the stairs

And then back at me. 

 

‘Oh, do you need to go home Gunner?’

And with that he bolted down the stairs.

Then he stopped for further permission.

‘Go ahead Gunner.’ 

 

He raced to his home, two houses away.

By the time I got there,

He was much relieved. 

He happily returned to my house with me. 

For the entire week,

Gunner returned home to his own yard,

And then back to me immediately. 

I told him I like my own bathroom too.

 

As predicted, Gunner would not eat his kibble. 

But he did enjoy his treats.

And his favourite human food. 

 

He was my sidekick.

Everywhere I went,

Gunner was right beside me. 

Even in the house. 

His need to be in the same room with me,

Interfered with his regular daily naps.

The poor dog was exhausted by week end. 

 

When he knew I was going to bed

He would utter a grateful sigh,

As he lay down in his own bed.   

He would watch me with one eye,

Until I completed my bedtime routine.

He would be snoring,

The second I turned out the light. 

In the night,

If I used the bathroom,

He would tip toe down the hall,

Wait for me,

And escort me back to bed. 

 

It was wonderful to have a dog in the house.

Gunner was a joy to care for.

Not once did he bark.

He let me know what he needed. 

He never left the property

(Except for bathroom passes.)

He was great.

 

His family returned.

The reunion of Gunner and his family.

Is a scene etched in my heart for life. 

 

Gunner and I were outside

As they pulled in their driveway.

Gunner preoccupied with playing fetch

Did not notice them. 

 

I called him to my side.

I pointed to his house. 

He looked,

Just as his Dad squatted down

Extended his arms out straight

And called his name. 

 

Gunner started,

Fully alert.

A millesecond look back at me,

With an expression like, ‘Oh I gotta go”

And off he raced  for his family.

 

As he ran I could hear his emotional voice,

Calling to them in return. 

 

I watched Gunner and his family,

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