There was a time …

Published 8:19 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Editor’s note: Rex Alphin rarely submits another’s writing. The following is a piece by a local author. It was penned after the death of his companion of 14 years, a German shepherd named Zeus. If you have never loved an animal, it will mean little. If you have, it needs no explanation.

There was a time

When limbs were strong and steady

Through wooded trails and snowy woods,

Swimming behind and

Dashing ahead

At every creature noise.

When “Walk?” was the word of release,

A prancing, dancing bull set in motion,

Whirling like some ecstatic

Dervish at the door,

Waiting for me to exit.

There was a time when his royal stature and

Menacing bark demanded respect,

A fierce protector by birth,

Announcing intimidation to all

Who passed his roadside kingdom.

Oh, how I long for his days of

Youthful zeal and diligent adventure,

Racing, tromping, stomping

To and fro, ever ready to

Explore with me,

Or relax by a fire on chilly nights,

Head in my lap, at peace,

The world, right as rain.

There was a time,

But it is gone.

The day is spent, the night has come,

The long anticipated dread become real.

The labor of loving the aged and

Withered frame at end,

The fight against frailty

At last, turned to futility.

And so I held him one long, last time,

His head in my lap,

His eyes full of happiness, and

I whispered my love and thankfulness

For all our years of closest friendship,

Whispered “Sweet boy” nothings

In his ear and finally said goodbye.

There was a time his presence

Filled our lives day and night,

But now the memories fill the void,

Pile up like feathers and

Settle at the foot of my bed

As I cry myself to sleep…

By Mike Duke

In loving remembrance of Zeus.

R.I.P. Love ya buddy …

Rex Alphin is a farmer, businessman and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is