Kev Reynolds ponders the issues faced by dogs and their people during lockdown... Our thanks to some of our favourite Cicerone dogs, past and present, for their contribution in illustrating this poem!
A Dog's Dilemma
When Sandy heard the PM’s news he couldn’t help but groan,
Confinement’s surely not for me, not even in my home.
I need to get my daily dose of non-polluted air
While running free across the fields, racing here and there.
I need to go out walking, at least three times a day,
Watching from a distance all the new born lambs at play.
To play with them would be such fun, of course it’s not allowed
But I’m content it must be said, when far from any crowd.
Then mop-head said that we could have each day some exercise.
How long? How far? He didn’t say, but hoped that we’d be wise.
Hang on, I thought, we surely need to have more than a clue,
‘Cos truth be told I’m sure I need more exercise than you.
I love to roll in smelly mud then wash my coat all clean
By leaping in the current of a clear cold country stream;
I love to chase the rabbits and the squirrels up a tree,
Don’t waste your time by throwing balls – you know they’re not for me.
But here we are, one walk a day, along a country lane
Where all the other pooches go, every day the same,
There and back, a fringe of grass, a fence to raise my leg at
Can’t you see it’s boring - I need much more than that.
But Sandy went out walking, of course along the lane
And there discovered dozens more, all with minds the same,
All tugging at their leashes, their owner’s arms out straight
Their one intention just to reach the farmer’s five-bar gate.
Their masters and their mistresses who’d heard the news before
All knew two metres space between could soon become the law.
So down the lane they went that day, walking one by one
Straining, sniffing, yelping, it was anything but fun.
A big black pooch with yellow teeth had managed to be first,
The others all then got in line, the last place was the worst
And that was Sandy on a lead, he wasn’t very happy,
But aloof from all the other dogs, refused to be as yappy.
The first one stopped to cock his leg, then wondered where to go,
The queue of mongrels all stopped too, somehow they seemed to know
To keep their social distancing meant dog and master too
Which wouldn’t be a problem if there was just a few.
But there were dozens of them, the queue stretched on for miles
Dogs with tongues a-dripping, masters without smiles,
Stopping, starting, sniffing, barking – what a dreadful din -
Sandy had enough of this - his master thought like him.
They ducked beneath a wire fence without the others knowing
Into one big meadow where the springtime grass was growing,
And there he and his master made good their great escape
Away from all the other dogs who’d go just to the gate.
Sandy found his freedom then, he leapt into the air
Then ran around in circles without a single care
Exploring spaces new to him, happy in the clover
Decided he would stay right there, ‘til the crisis had passed over.