Switchback: From Bliss and Back


A vicious switchback,
the bliss of last Saturday Morning,
to a routine checkup with the Good Shepherd Vet,
to this.

I clench my jaw while he opens his.
The steroids, tiny pink buttons, are wrapped in lunch meat.
He swallows the care package whole, nose up, sniffing for more.
He sits.
The medicine dissolves, his belly warms from the Buttons.
His glassy eyes look up drawing up Hirshfield’s Hope and Love:
“I know that hope is the hardest love we carry.”

It’s sad, really.
Complaints about our rock crushing routine, the sameness, the longing for change.

Odd, we are.
Fists clenching Sameness in our maniacal illusion that everything Important will Always be there, Same, unchanged, Forever.

Fragile, we are.
A pebble shifts, disorientation rains, one comes unhinged.

A siren cuts the air in the distance.

A Mourning Dove coos its lament with Hirshfield’s “Come Thief

How fragile we are, between the few good moments.”


  • Photograph of Zeke (Our Vizsla Dog). Thank you Susan.
  • Related Posts: Zeke Series


  1. Precious photo, precious boy. These animals become integral pieces of our heart so quickly and so much a part of the fabric of our lives that it is all too easy to assume that they will always be there…until one day, suddenly, they are not. Savor every moment with your red-headed wild child, pal. So glad he’s feeling better….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful boy! I hope he is going to get better…aw puppy…..🐶

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    “I know that hope is the hardest love we carry.” …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. His sweet face was the first Image I saw this morning on WordPress ~ perfection with my coffee, thank you. Hello Zeke .. you aresuchagoodboyyesyouareyesyouare!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ….so very tender and poignant–thank you for the reminder of the fragility of it all, especially the ones who age 7 years to our 1.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How fragile, indeed. Cherish those good moments. Hope he’s okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Man’s best friend…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. PS – need a LOVE button for that face!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love it David! This line rings so true: “I know that hope is the hardest love we carry.” ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I see patience and love in that face.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. May he experience as little pain and discomfort as possible to be able to enjoy life and your love for as long as possible.


  12. Precious. I hope Zeke recovers soon. Change always reminds us what we already have. 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  13. how very, very true. it’s the moments in between the coming and the going, that are everything. and they are precious few.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hope is the hardest love we carry and unconditional love (like the love we get from our four legged friends) is the most beautiful. And this post is simply beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Awww…maybe I missed something. Is he okay? This makes me sad. Bella, my dog, is struggling with something too. She’s been on steroids and antibiotics for over a month now. It’s been weird lately when I look at her (over 7 years old now) and I realize she’s caught up with me. We’re getting old together. And I think we’re both feeling it. Hope Zeke will be okay…precious and beautiful friend of yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I hope it works too. I’m all too familiar with steroids for dogs too – low dose for four years for Bumble. All the best to lovely Zeke.

    Liked by 1 person

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