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A coonhound with a strong will.

On Thursday, he splays out near the park’s entrance,

Just a half mile from home.

His demeanor says,

“I’ve walked across this whole, wide country.”

I let him rest,

Fearful that if I prod him,

Someone will call the SPCA.

An overbearing walker has scolded me,

“You too fast. He no like you.”

So, I’m sensitive.

Still, eventually, I urge him on …

Just to go home,

Get something done.


Let’s get the data straight.

I’m 64 – and “fast” is less than accurate.

Bad knees define my pace.

People at school, watching me walk, ask,

“Are you injured?”

I’m not.

But I’m careful, lest I be.

Zoli’s five.

We’ve paid over $300 for tests

To make sure he’s well.

“Lazy coonhound” is the diagnosis.

But not always.

There’s ancillary support for hidden vigor.

On Sunday, when everyone heads for the park,

He’s a happy jogger.

For 3.5 miles, he easily leads the pack.

A family outing,

He’s all in.

Why, then on a weekday walk

Alone with me,

Does he decide that I have gone too far, too fast?

The mind of a stubborn hound,

Shrouded behind an adorable face,

And sweet disposition.

He dictates.


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