The glee that fills the atmosphere when a child plays with a much-loved dog or other pet melts my heart.

When my grandson was five I overheard him talking into the ear of my cocker spaniel. Seated on the floor with one arm draped over the neck of our adorable ForrestGump, he leaned into the soft, floppy ear and said, “You’re my number one.” 

The smile between the adults in the room failed to conceal the question, “So what am I?”

A little Dog that wags his tail

And knows no other joy

Of such a little Dog am I

Reminded by a Boy


Who gambols all the living Day

Without an earthly cause

Because he is a little Boy

I honestly suppose —


The Cat that in the Corner dwells

Her martial Day forgot

The Mouse but a Tradition now

Of her desireless Lot


Another class remind me

Who neither please nor play

But not to make a “bit of noise”

Beseech each little Boy —

I think this poem by Emily Dickinson is “good medicine” when striving and goal-driven projects threaten to keep me from enjoying life.  My grandson, like the poem, reminded us of a stronger power beneath our adult motivations. 

The little drama demonstrated to me that, “Of such a little Dog am I”.  There was/is no shrewd pose to enhance his position in the community or professional influence.

I am “Reminded by a Boy”, who frolics like the frisky dog, “Without an earthly cause/Because he is…”.  

The smug satisfaction of “The Cat that in the Corner dwells” also speaks for me. Famous for independence, the poem’s cat is a warrior whose “tradition” is to do away with “The Mouse..” and seems to have few desires for play.

Whether a “dog person” or a “cat person” it doesn’t matter. I can see in each a demonstration of a silent power.  

Yet, “Another class remind me/Who neither please nor play”, to learn.

It reminds me “not to make a “bit of noise””.

Boys know what I find where? Poetry? Meditation? Prayer? It’s not the bark of a dog, nor a speech from a stage.

But whatever it is, “Beseech each little Boy —”.


Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way