Love is…

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Four short little legs
tripping over themselves to greet you
when you come home from school;
A wet little nose sniffing and snorting,
Exhorting you to quickly, quickly
Take off those shoes
So she can get at those socks;
Tiny puppy teeth yanking at your digits,
Pulling off the five-fingered footwear
One toe at a time
The tug of war, a nighttime game
She always wins, triumphantly
Flinging each sock off
So she can tickle your feet with her tongue.

The constant scratching
Outside your bedroom door
Waking you up in the morning;
Or the quiet little whine
Outside the bathroom door
Because eight hours of sleep was too long
To be apart from you;
Inching herself between your feet
So she can crawl underneath
For a belly rub while you sip coffee.

Ears twitching, head cocked,
The only one alerted by
The little sigh that escapes your lips,
Or the tear that finds itself rolling down your cheek,
Or the slightest tremor in your voice;
She knows with a look to climb on your lap,
Front legs up to your shoulders, head near your chin,
A hug only she can give,
Because she’s the only one who knows
You need one.

Always the same welcome,
No matter how long you were away
Always the same bright-eyed smile
From when she was a puppy
Until the last time you held her,
A lifetime later.

(Kimba +Nov.22.2013)