The Message Of The Dogs



Bear ON Arm








The Message Of The Dogs




Somewhere there is a dog barking.

When I hold my breath and listen

carefully, I can just hear it,

high pitched, squeaking, urgent.

My dogs hear it,

they understand the message,

they bark it onward,

to the dog next door, who barks

to the dog down the street

who barks to the dog in the next

street, who barks to the dogs

in the next town, who bark it

to the dogs in the big city,

who bark it across the state.

All these dogs barking,

started by a frantic Chihuahua

lonely for her people,

fearing they’ll never return.

The dogs across the state carry it on,

they bark across the rivers,

tell the dogs of the whole continent.

In the Pacific, a dog being walked

down a polished deck


and soon all the dogs on the ship are barking.

No one knows what set them off,

barking to annoy everyone, waken peaceful sleepers,

startle amorous lovers,

distract the crew from their work.

Dogs must bark, for this is an urgent matter,

a Chihuahua’s terror.   Soon

all the dogs on all the ships, all the trains, all the planes are barking.

Here at home, my dogs continue,

none of my training can stop them,

the bark is more important than human need

for peace and quiet.

Soon the bark has reached Alaska. The sled dogs,

always barking, change their urgent cry of “let’s run let’s run”

to the tune of “ someone please

comfort cousin Chihuahua.”

Russia’s eleven time zones come alive with barking.

Vladivostok to Petersburg,

Irkutsk to Moscow, Russia’s dogs pass it on,

north to the White Sea,

south to the Black Sea.

Soon, Poland’s dogs are barking,

Germany’s dogs are barking,

France’s dogs sniff and lift their heads, piss

on a chair 

delicately, decide whether to eat or bark

and yes, they bark.   No translation is needed.

Barking is universal, dog emotions are powerful.

Even the wild dogs with their different language

stand up and bay,

the foxes and   jackals yip

wolves and coyotes sing.

The bark reaches Easter Island, Tahiti, and

Rangaroa, bark bark, bark bark, roars and squeals and yips

join together, across the earth, dogs are barking

and people are crying “quiet!”, “shut up!”, “shhhhhh”, “No barkies!”

They blow on whistles, snap

clickers, squirt water, shake cans of rocks but the world’s dogs bark.

The whole dog universe

sounds a call that flies with the winds, rises into the clouds to travel

far distances, for one of their kind is distressed and dogs are the most loyal

of creatures.

It is a dog’s duty to bark until the message has circled the world

and the Chihuahua’s people feel a subliminal urge, a stab of worry,

an urge to hurry

home, home, quick unlock the door, the puppy’s gone crazy

the neighbors are furious (dammit why don’t you teach that dog

some manners). They thought she was trained but they leave her

alone, long and often, they think it doesn’t bother her

they don’t know their dog’s terror has gone around the world and

she was invoking the dog power

to bring her people home, and they returned, early,

canceled plans out of vague worry

knowing nothing of the way

the hue and cry of ten billion dogs

was barked across all the time zones of the earth to help

a tiny Chihuahua bring home the people she loves.



One thought on “The Message Of The Dogs

  1. Very nice Art! My cocker spaniel barks in response…

    On Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 1:50 PM, Books by Arthur Rosch wrote:

    > artrosch posted: ” The Message Of The Dogs > Somewhere there is a dog barking. When I hold my breath and listen > carefully, I can just hear it, high pitched, squeaking, urgent” >

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