she is inclined to love me forever

Jernee, giving me the stare down.

my four-legged love sits
at the top of my chair
wasting her old breaths
in my ears.
this spoiled, ageless baby
encourages me, loves me, likes me . . .
keeps my sanity where it should be.

I listen to her low-growl
at the neighbor’s kids while
they play tag outside our window.
she steadies every opposition
with a calculated pace.
they hear her and look up.
the day’s shenanigans will
wait until tomorrow.

she slides down to
the seat of the chair,
buries her cold nose
into the warm cushion,
and waits for me to nod
in approval.
I look up from my book
and smile a welcoming smile.

“Good girl.”
she sleeps for three hours

It Gets Better: The Uplifting

A Haibun

Double Trouble: Nala and Jernee|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

It was a warm summer’s day. The kind that begs you to stay inside, read a book, and sip iced-sweet tea. The girls had their morning walks and I basked in the silence that surrounded my home. Two beings who stole my heart slumbered throughout the afternoon. Their sleepy eyes showing nothing more than slits of white were closed off to my world. I flipped through the pages of my book, made notes in the margins, and listened to their breathing. Not only had I been serenaded by an endless drone of patterned breaths, but I was lulled too. In the comfort of a happy space, we lifted each other up without trying.

sweet, innocent girls
asleep in summer’s bright light
strong breaths like music


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

Golden Years

Jernee and the beginnings of cataracts.

Aging isn’t for the faint of heart. As Jernee gets older, several things are making themselves known and knocking our daily routine out of whack. During our last Vet visit, I was informed that cataracts are forming in Jernee’s eyes. Recently, she has also taken up not eating or refusing to eat what’s placed before her or simply eating once per day. I can handle the change in eating habits, but I just don’t know what she wants.

There’s also the low growling she does when I am preparing her for bed. She’ll enter her crate willingly when signaled, but as soon as I go to lower the cover, she growls. All of these changes are fairly new and I don’t like them at all. I feel like I am losing my sweet girl to age and the golden years and that ornery, off-the-wall behavior is now what I’ll have to face.

The Vet says that when her sight gets worse or if it does, she’ll refer us to an Ophthalmologist who specializes in animal care for a consult. I am not looking forward to that day, but if ever it occurs, I’ll try to be prepared. This is life. This is our reality. We live to age and then we die, if we’re lucky to do it in that order.

I have always looked at The Little Monster as being invincible and each day that she’s living, I am being reminded that she is not. I can handle what is ahead, at least, this is what I am telling myself. The golden years came too fast. I would definitely like a refund with interest included.

*sighs*

I want my puppy girl back–my sweet, little mischievous girl who minds commands, gets in her crate without protest, eats her food without being snooty or refusing her food, and the glorious fact of 20/20 vision to return.

But, we are moving forward, there is no going back. And that, my dear friends, is the scary part.