That early April morn, dewy and cool,
Charlie was still lunging on the leash
As we walked up Quaker bridge towards the field.
Charlie was born wise: he did not suffer fools gladly.
How he put up with me, God alone knows. Anyroadup,
This memorable morning Charlie fulfilled
His 'retriever' appellation - he brought a ball back with a flourish of his tail and with great aplomb. Tongue all askew. Panting.
It was a ball that I'd thrown for him. I was thrilled. Finally!
Then, for twelve glorious years,
Afterwards, he nary came near to retrieving anything at all: animate or inanimate, large or small.
His thinking ran thus: "If I bring back a ball to this great big two-legged wallop, he'll just chuck the bloody thing again. I'll save him the trouble, and run off with the bloody thing instead."
He stuck to his resolution with great asperity through thick and thin, summer and winter.
Now, when missing him tears at me, I think of that long gone April morn and try to consider my memory a blessing.