Do not undervalue the persistent optimism
Of loving hope.
Nor underestimate the weariness or determination
Of following paws.
Don’t take too much advantage of the patience
Of a loyal heart.
Or be provoked to harshness by the limpid tenderness
In caressing eyes.
Don’t disdain as weakness the brave choice not to bite, even
In self defence.
Don’t dismiss as dependency the valour of staying put and trying
To make hopes real.
For only a hard, fear-ridden heart despises the tolerance
Of faithful love.
This was written for Rick Mobbs’ picture above. But as you will probably guess, this isn’t really about dogs at all, but has a much more personal significance for me.