"The Veterans"

 It was the veterans that touched my heart
And brought tears to my eyes.
A lump was formed deep in my throat
In splendor they flew by.

Sweet faces smiled and ears pinned back
All heads were high and proud
To cavort and bark for a master's whim
They charmed an applauding crowd.

 The glorious coat that comes with age
Glistened and shined with care.
Some eyes were round  Some muzzles white
A tooth missing here and there.

Their response in the ring once again
Was seen in style and stance.
The baiting ways when given treats
Comes back  And not by chance.

 In their way   Each was a Champion
Filled our lives with sage and grit
They seemed to try our patience
With their humor and their wit.

And some were so full of themselves
Alive with spit and fire.
They stood up on their tippy toes
To sass back was their desire.

There is nothing that can equal them.
Their hearts are free and full.
To capture memories of by-gone times
The croud was truly thrilled.

I find myself somewhat dismayed.
This class hardest to judge.
Each one is better than the last
And each one is beloved.

 Once exhibited in their prime
Now they curl up tight and sleep
Upon our laps and in our beds
And dream of liver treats.

Our lives were fuller to have known
These dear and faithful friends.
They deserve a rest. They've had their day!
And are homeward bound again.

 In all honesty I feel they know
Though I've picked one through four
My heart gave them all awards of blue
Though some be grey and sore.

We caught our breath and swallowed hard
Not a dry eye in the crowd
Words can't express it.  Bless their hearts!
They surely do us proud!

     (written by  E. "Katie" Gammill   6/11/91)