Callie and Kyle -- a dog story

 ... I know, I know, it's a frightful affair ...

by Don Norris

A THREESOME: Kyle, at left, Callie at the right, and Amy were the Norris family dogs for 14 years. Amy, a pup at nine, is still with us. What really great memories we have from these beautiful friends.

They are gone now, but during their time on earth, these two dogs gave us all of their all -- their love and affection, their protection, their companionship. They were two total family dogs, one belonging to each of our daughters.

Callie was an Norwegian Elkhound, sweet, independent, strong as an ox, devoted to our grandchildren. She was real furry piece of work, that Callie.

And Kyle was a full-dress showman, a male Cocker Spaniel, who was as lovable as a cocker could be. He wasn't the smartest pup in the neighborhood, but he was really something special. And he was fixed. Eventually they both were.

So every time the family got together, the dogs would start rough-housing, and sooner or later, nature gave Kyle an idea that he was supposed to do something with his big girlfriend, but he couldn't figure exactly what it was, or how to go about it. Nature is that way, especially after a visit to the vet's.

So Kyle would catch Callie lying down, and jump on her, do a couple of laughable contortions, but you know from the concern on his handsome face that he wasn't exactly sure of himself. Callie would have nothing to do with this crazy game.

She was, furthermore, twice as tall, twice as heavy, and ten times as strong -- but her defense was simply to get up and move away, and Kyle would flop off on the floor, wondering what went wrong. But the game continued whenever the pair had visiting rights.

So one day, Gram and me were wintering in Florida, and I found a class in poetry happening at the Northport Library, so I tried it. It was fun, but here's about the sum total of my real-life poetry:

Callie and Kyle -- a dog story

Bug out, lite out! 'n make it quick,
For Callie has flipped her lid.   
Kyle, stop foolin', you've a mind for toolin',
With an eye for this wooly chick,
He's got his eye on this wooly chick.

Now Kyle's a cocker, 'n Callie's an elkhound.
They meet about six times a year.
Both been to the doctor, they both lost their knocker,
But nature just plays it by ear.
Ev'n so, nature just plays it by ear.

He doesn't know how, She doesn't know why.
It just seems to happen that way;
Nature takes over, no romp in the clover,
But he's gotta go on and try.
Um, hmmm, they gotta go on and try.

Hey, Kyle stop yo' jumpin', Hey, Callie stop that yappin',
Jes move your fur coat away.
You guys  know nothin', you're acting like mutton,
But I guess you gotta try it that way.
I guess you gotta try it that way.

Now Kyle is three hands high 'n Callie is five,
That's partly what keeps 'em from play.
Not lack of ambition nor need for affection,
She's built just too far away.
Just two hands too far away.

"I know, I know, it's a frightful affair,"
Kyle said with a mournful sigh,
"It's not so bad the difference in height ----
tell me, what do I do, and where?
What do I do and where?"

God, keep these two dogs safe for us. We'll be along by and by.

February 1, 2002

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