At the Dog Store

“Now this hound here’s a Disappointment Hound.
His dam was Thwart; his pappy’s name was Slink.
He’ll chew up expectations in a wink
and snake along, his belly to the ground.
Sir, you don’t want to buy this sorry runt.
These dogs aren’t bred for much except to sit.
They’re bred to mope and whine. They’re bred to quit.
There’s better hounds I got. They’ll bay and hunt.”

He tried to move me on but I said, “No.”
I’ve heard my heart repeat its tsk-tsk-tsks.
Which means I lack the nerve for taking risks.
I know I’ll never be the Best-in-Show.
This hound’s just what I needed from that store.
The beast’s now mine and he’ll be mine forevermore.



Robert Kinerk writes fiction, plays, and poetry. His most recent publication is Tales from the Territory: Stories of Southeast Alaska. A long-time Alaskan, Kinerk now resides in Cambridge, MA.

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4 Responses

  1. Paul A. Freeman

    Apart from having the Awww factor, I also found this poem humorous, what with the world’s worst salesman and the (to my mind) archaic-sounding language in the first part which sort of went with the picture Evan placed with the piece.

    I’m not usually a fan of dog poems, Robert, but you have a Best-in-Show one here. Is it ‘based on true events’ as they say these days?

    Thanks for the read.

  2. Phil S. Rogers

    Isn’t it interesting that often the animals, or people, others see as imperfect may turn out to be the most loving pets, or the most loyal friends.
    Thank you, Robert

  3. Margaret Coats

    A quirky tale of a man who knows himself well enough to choose a dog that suits him. Sounds like a tale of sympathy, too. How often instructions tell us not to select a pet we may feel sorry for, but instead the liveliest of the litter! The local colloquial talk of the breeder is very well done; I can imagine hearing him at a country store. And I’m impressed, Robert, at the special way you suggest disappointment is inbred. The dog has a pedigree: the names of dam and sire are known, and then when we get to the sonnet sestet, the tsk-tsk-tsks of the shopper’s heart reveal by physical evidence that the man too belongs to this breed. Great concept!

  4. Rohini

    I salute the man! I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is the epitome of: “These dogs aren’t bred for much except to sit.
    They’re bred to mope and whine. They’re bred to quit.”
    And we adore him!


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