Lost Black Dog

From the collection published in 2022, Writing Notebook 2021.

Lost Black Dog

Worried owner searching three days
She is nine years old
she ran right out the door
she never tried such a thing before

Lost black dog.

Worried owner stopping strangers on the sidewalk
Have you seen a little black dog
on her own
anywhere along here

Strangers on the sidewalk saying
no I have not seen
I will keep an eye out

What about a flyer?
Do you have a picture?

Stranger on the sidewalk who is me
When it is my turn to answer
I see
and I ignore
the tears in worried owner’s eyes
because I know that is what she wants.

Worried owner and I the stranger
we part and
I am sure I will never see
this little black dog now lost
not ever

I say a word of hope to myself
it is all I can do:

Little black dog
that you may come home


10 thoughts on “Lost Black Dog

      • I’ve known cats to disappear for quite some time and then suddenly show up. But of course cats are more resourceful than most dogs.

        • Yes, I agree. A cat can survive pretty well on its own, it seems, from many anecdotal tales I have heard of. But I think situations like this, the dog never finds its way home.

    • Yes. This lady was clearly very upset and though I hoped she would find her dog, I have the feeling that she did not. I do still think about this sometimes when I pass the area where she was looking.

  1. You have captured that feeling I have whenever I see lost animal notices affixed to poles or fences. I desperately hope the critter found its way home one way or another but I know that is not often the fate of lost pets – including based on personal experience. There were a lot of lost animals in the aftermath of the tornado but I believe most were located and returned so perhaps I should have more hope than despair when I see people searching for their lost pets.

    • Yes, I think in the tornado case it was unusual, it seems to me if a pet wanders off in regular life it does not often get found. And I know of a couple of cases where a cat left home to die (most likely) being ill already and wanting to be on its own.

    • Thank you. I am not a dog lover, so I would not have thought much about a person’s feelings with a lost dog, but this incident happened pretty much as the poem says, and the situation stayed with me. The lady was truly distraught and I wished so much her dog would come home safe and sound.

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