By Rick Czaplewski
Our new two-story home
Had a stairway, 14 steps tall
It had carpet, old and weathered
And you climbed it, no problem at all.
Right away, we knew,
The old carpet had to go.
We removed it and found hard wood,
Some varnish made it glow.
The beautiful floor and wooden stairs
At your height looked so ever great.
And up you went without a worry,
To your bed, inside your crate.
The next morning we awoke,
Teeth brushed, hair combed, without a pause.
We descended to the kitchen,
But the wood would not grip your claws.
You slid, crashed, to the bottom,
Your furry head hit the front door.
All 14 stairs, carpet gone
You could descend no more.
For years to come, up and down
Our ritual night and day.
Your bed was up and food was down.
Night night up, down was play.
You did not like to walk up the stairs
Your barking, pleading voice.
“Please come down and carry me up.”
You often made this choice.
The descent was mine
And shortly after the alarm,
Morning would start,
And down we went, you underneath my arm.
Years went by, the games you’d play,
Hiding in your crate, curled up against the back
“Go doggy, go doggy, go doggy” I would plead
The day began, I must start on track.
My memory of you and those stairs,
More common in the later days.
You no longer would climb, your heart too weak,
At the bottom you’d bark, stare, and gaze.
At night, you I would carry, If my visit brief
At the bottom you would stay, looking up to see
Me, done, coming down the stairs
Light or dark, your eyes locked on me.
Now that you are gone,
The stairs still stand, 14 steps tall
You are not here for up or down,
No games, you cannot hear my call.
I miss those eyes, I miss your stare
I miss your breath, I miss your time,
I miss your friendship, I miss your love.
I miss your kisses, I miss our climb.
In heaven now, I hope you rest,
All pain and suffering done.
A new staircase you have climbed,
And met the Holy One.
In a field you play wearing your coat,
With other dogs and warm sunshine.
With lots of walks and toys and many treats,
Finally again you feel fine.
And I’m down here, at the bottom,
I’m staring up at you.
As you bark down at me and ask me to come
And join you in heaven, too.