The Lead that's Left Behind

I wrote this poem shortly after Jack died of cancer/pneumonia in Jan 2010. Jack wasn't the first dog I've lost and he won't be the last, but (as with all of them) his passing left a big hole, even though there were still seven Beasts at home. Strangely it was because there were so many and the fact that you get into a system of doing things that auto-pilot meant I kept getting eight meals ready and eight leads down when it was time to go out; it was those little things that really got to me – this is about three of them. While this is especially for Jack, it's also for every dog that has touched any of our lives but no longer with us. It's called The Lead that's Left Behind because it's the lead that knows what happened.

The Lead That's Left Behind

I am the bowl that's left empty
while the others are filled with food.
Those that are used at meal times
does not me include.
The other bowls have mouths and tongues
that eagerly consume.
I once had these but now I stand
empty in a corner of the room.
I am the bed that's not slept in
while the others are laid upon.
I'm comfy and warm like all the rest,
there must be something wrong.
The other beds have dogs that sleep
and dream their doggy dreams.
But I am left undisturbed,
I wonder what this means.
I am the lead that's left behind
while the others go out for a walk.
I am the one that's left hanging
alone upon the hook.
The other leads have got their dogs,
something I now lack.
Our last trip out was to the vet;
it was only me that came back.