I don’t think he is as big as Anubis was,
but his white feet seem huge,
like Great Dane feet.
He has a long body with tiger stripes.
The tip of his tail is bright white like a flare.
He has short, floppy ears that fold over
on top of his head
or point in the direction he’s looking
like a turn signal.
He has a deep bark
but also a sharp shriek and a yodel.
He lies on his back,
long legs and feet dangling in the air,
pink tongue lolling out of a grinning mouth.
He confuses and alarms me
by being a picky eater.
Expensive organic grain-free treats
left uneaten in his crate
until they are stolen by an opportunistic Giza,
his older ebony sister.
Now he’s stuck in the blinds again.
He comes to me, bright-eyed and panting,
when he sees me getting dressed.
He wants a walk even though
he knows it’s storming.
You can hear it in the house.
He leaps and beats a march on my leg with his tail
when I finally put on some pants.
When the rain dies down,
I take the dogs outside,
and he pushes the storm door open
with his hard wrecking-ball head.
When he sees squirrels and aloof outdoor cats,
his ears stand straight up on his head,
and his whole body vibrates.
Amber hunting eyes wide.
He whines and yelps.
Then he turns his attention
to sniffing the ground
or gagging on a long piece of grass.
He still needs to learn to sit and shake,
still needs to learn to walk up the stairs,
still needs to learn to bark at the door
when he needs to go out,
still needs to figure out who that dog in the mirror is.
I massage his ears,
and his eyes close in bliss.
If we trust him not to piss in the house,
he’s totally going to piss in the house.
He has no idea what the hell is going on yet,
but he’s excited and happy about it anyway.