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FRED SCALZO
About Fred Scalzo

 

 

 

LULLABY FOR MY COWDOG

Written to my Border Collie, Petey
The night before she died


The first day that I saw you, Girl
    That first day you showed up
A puff of fluffy fur and ears
    A very special little pup

You cocked your little head to listen
    Really tried to understand
You learned exactly what to do
    No need for reprimand

You worked real hard. You tried to please
    You made me look so smart
As though I really had a knack
    Of course I played the part

You’d do most anything I asked
    I never had to shout
When I had trouble telling you
    You’d just figure it all out

That herding instinct way down deep
    You knew just how it’s done
You’d head ‘em up and push ‘em in
    And pen ‘em just for fun

A cattle dog and real world class
    You’d launch yourself in flight
You even knew which way to look
    As I shouted “left” or “right”

You never went just half the way
    Gave your all and I could tell
You’d go until I stopped you
    Or you’d go until you fell

Bring me something from the kitchen
    Bring my mail from the street
You’d sit outside the old town store
    ‘Till my shopping was complete

You’re very smart and bright and more
    But Petey in the end
You’re more to me than work and games
    You truly are my friend

For sixteen years right by my side
    And when I took a seat
No matter where I was, Old Girl
    You’d be there at my feet

I know our time is coming, Girl
    The time that we can share
When you’re gone I know I’ll reach for you
    Then remember you’re not there

You changed my outlook, changed my thoughts
    ‘Bout critters, not just you
I even see the ugly ones
    From a pretty point of view

I see all creatures, big and small
    Though none can make your measure
In each I see a touch of you
    And now each gives me pleasure


And that’s your legacy, Sweet Girl
    That’s what you’ll leave with me
All creatures are reminders
    Of how we used to be

We sang our song together, Peach
    Your scruffy voice and mine
Some thought we might not sound so good
    To us we sounded fine

So now I guess it’s time, Old Friend
    To sing that song we do
I’ll sing our lullaby, Sweet Pete
    One last time, for you…


Fred Scalzo
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

About Fred Scalzo:

I was raised in the foothills of Sierra Madre, California near the Hastings Ranch just north east of Lucky Baldwin's Santa Anita Ranch.  I ain't no kid but until the last couple of years I helped old Rick "Mule" Barnes at round-up time on the 3 Forks Ranch in Wyoming.

 

 

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