Advertise Here
Want to advertise here? Get started for as little as $5
Canis Diabeticus

Canis Diabeticus

A Poem by Terpsichore

Bumped into Betty on the high street,
she wasn't looking where she was going,
but she was walking pretty fast
for the age of eighty-five and looked very much alive, 
courtesy of hip replacement she told me.

First time I'd seen her since last year,
so I says - where's your dog then ?
and she goes - well he died on boxing day last,
and I says - sorry to hear that, but he was old,
and she goes - come to me house for a brew
and we can trade the latest goss,
so I did... you know, like you do.

So we were in her kitchen,
which is a very nice old-woman cosy type kitchen,
and whilst she is making tea, with leaves, in a pot,
she asks me to get the digestives out of the
cupboard; and because I have known her for 
twenty years I know where the biscuit tin is.
I used to buy tomato plants off her husband 
every spring, but he died three years ago,
although his gardening coat still hangs on a peg in the hall
and his briar pipe is still in a glass ashtray in the lounge.

And Betty says, while stirring the pot - these new hips,
once you get used to them, are extremely good,
they are plastic you know, better than the old bone ones.
And I smiled and nodded
watched as she poured tea, 
then sat down at the table across from me.

And the light caught her crucifix, making it glint,
this was a woman who plainly knew God,
and then we both spoke at once,
so I said - go on, you first,
and so she proceeded to tell me about her dog.

The dog had become ill, she took it to the vet, on the bus.
She said - Bobby got sick, shivering and trembling,
the vet said he was diabetic, treatment was available,
but from now on no more energetic canine stuff,
then she sighed, and stared into her tea cup.
I mean, you don't want to ask do you,
but I had visions of daily doggy insulin injections
and blood-sugar-level tests for ailing mutts.
So Betty looked after her sickly Bobby,
but like she said - you can only do so much.

So we finished our tea, and she says - 
you could do a poem about it,
you did some other stuff about dogs,
I read them in one of your books,
and I said I wasn't in dog mode anymore,
and she shot me a quizzical look.

So we finished drinking tea,
and she said - come into the garden
and I'll show you where Bobby lies sleeping,
and I thought to myself - woah, 
the dog is buried in the garden,
fertilizing the shrubbery,
and it was all overgrown and a bit wild,

And she said - I miss Bert, he did all the weeding.
And there, near the end wall, under a mallow tree,
were two granite headstones, both the same size
 and poking up, a bit odd in a garden, but plain to see.
Betty points and says - this ones Bobby,
and this ones Bert, I buried them together,
in Gods good earth, and when I pop off,
you can tuck me in beside them,
for what it's worth.

© 2017 Terpsichore

My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register


A great piece of work. I really enjoyed the story and its poetic side just tickled the edges, popping out in the odd line with a bit of rhyme and whimsy and yet, you still hammer home a good last line that makes you feel almost duped into something serious. Thank you

Posted 1 Year Ago

The title of your poem kind of grabs ya, so I chose this one to review first, and I am so glad I did!

I love your accounting of spending time with this delightful elder lady as she recounted the case of her poor doggie who couldn't survive the throes of diabetes. You have progressed the telling in just the right fashion that I was anticipating with "baited breath" what was coming next!

The ending is superb.....Betty, Bobby, and Bert shall be one by the other, yes-all three in the garden keeping one another company! I suppose they'll be in tandem, pushing up the daisies....LOL

I love it!! I hope you have more of these type of yarns to share!!

Posted 1 Year Ago

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


2 Reviews
Added on March 27, 2017
Last Updated on March 27, 2017



London, United Kingdom

Nothing much to tell really. I work in the city, boring, but lucrative enough to enable me to spend most weekends away from the place. I enjoy writing, reading equally as much. Like retro style cloth.. more..