Ode to a wonderful hound

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Last photo of Opus[/caption] I had to have my wonderful but elderly and sick hound dog, Opus, put to sleep earlier. He had a stay in the doggie ICU last week and just wasn't improving. As this photo from this morning shows, he just did not feel good. It was time. Loss is hard. He was a loyal pet who lived with me for a decade. I would like to write something flowery in his memory, but he was a hound dog who looked like he would fit in best under a falling-down porch or in a pickup with a gun rack above his head, so that wouldn't really be his style. He bayed at sirens and sounded like a foghorn. He hated getting his paws wet but loved rolling in mud puddles. He slept on the couch when he knew I wasn't looking and dug holes in every yard he ever lived in. He ate only one shoe his whole life, but he did eat a wooden futon frame once. He waited patiently for me to get home from 12-hour shifts and was the best welcoming committee ever. His big brown eyes could dance with joy or water with sympathy.

So I don't have an ode. But I sing songs to my pets (I think people who don't make up songs and silly names for their pets really do and are just afraid to admit it), and I will leave this one, his favorite, stolen from a jumping-rope chant we used when I was a kid:

Opus Schmopus, puddin' and pie,

Breathed on the girls and made them cry.

Made a mistake, kissed a snake,

How many GREENIES did it take?

Good-bye, sweet boy. I hope you're some place where you feel better now.