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The Maven: A Poem by Edgar Allan Pug

Once upon a table shiny, while I trembled, meek and whiny, Under a dizzying dose of chloroform too pungent to ignore, While I slobbered, half-sedated, certain something grim awaited, Sure enough, the vet I hated paraded in and closed the door. “Booster shot,” I ruminated. “That is what this visit’s for. Just a shot, and nothing more.” While I let my thoughts thus wander, Doc examined me down yonder, Leaving me not one bit fonder of the guy than theretofore. Long he eyed me, clearly scheming, scalpel lifted, cruelly gleaming, All the while, his face was beaming, dreaming of his evil chore. What, I wondered, had he meant when, just before he’d closed the door, He’d whispered to me, “Nevermore.”

So intent was he on snipping precious parts not meant for clipping, That he scarcely heard me yipping, yipping as my flesh he tore. Written there, upon his pocket, in red thread that seemed to mock it, Such a name upon his smock—it shocked me to my very core. Shocked was I, and stirred and shaken, shocked and shaken to my core, Not to mention, very sore. When at last the nightmare ended, gradually my stitches mended, Due to tender care extended by the owner I adore. Nonetheless, I felt quite bitter, for no stud was ever fitter, And I’d only sired one litter, with a chocolate Labrador, Six puppies with a Labrador her human family called S’more, Who birthed them on a hardwood floor.

Now that I am ten years older—hard of hearing, stiff of shoulder— Memories grow ever colder of my youthful days of yore. Rest assured I’ve not forgotten him who did the deed most rotten, Leaving me with balls of cotton, at the fertile age of four, A fate that I could not ignore when, at the fertile age of four, My love life ended evermore.

Though fur grew back that once was shaven, on my rear is still engraven, On my tender groin engraven, in that spot erstwhile so sore, Words that cause my loins to quiver, heart to break, and spine to shiver, Loud and long, I cried a river o’er that deed I yet deplore, Words etched by the carving maven, craven surgeon I abhor— “Neutered by Yul Suffermore.”

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 64: Apr/May 2011

Illustration by Chet Phillips

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