To love these old dogs well, you must be careful:
They’ll stand out on a cold and rainy day,
Not making any sound to say they need you,
Just staring at the door that’s in their way.
They’ll play with you as they used to as puppies,
Nor show the joint pain they might have when done.
They need your close attention more than they did
When they were small and could come at a run.
These old ones need to know you will protect them,
They need your warmth in winter, snuggled up
And in the summer, too, they need you near them
To love them as you did when they were pups.
Old dogs, then, are the same as all of us,
And love transforms us all from beastliness.