Tag Archives: trigger

Dogs in Literature

A fascinating post on the blog Interesting Literature about the symbolism of dogs in literature, https://interestingliterature.com/2021/03/dogs-symbolism-in-literature-and-myth-meaning-analysis/.

I have myself composed a number of poems about my former (and still very much missed) guide dog Trigger, including this one entitled “To a Departed Dog”:

“Sometimes I see
You in front of me,
Or imagine you at
My side. I
Go to pat
You under the table,
Where you so often sat.
I am not able.
You are not coming back.”

(“To a Departed Dog” appears in “The Further Selected Poems of K Morris”, which can be found here, https://www.amazon.com/Further-Selected-Poems-Morris-ebook/dp/B08XPMGD3F).

K Morris reading his poem ‘Dog Bed’.

On 2nd September I wrote about the sad death of my guide dog Trigger, which can be found here: https://kmorrispoet.com/2020/09/02/trigger/

I have now recorded my poem ‘Dog Bed’, which was written in memory of Trigger.

DOG BED

The mark
Of your teeth is still there,
On your old dog bed.
I walk in the park,
Where
The dead
Leaves lie.

Shadows on the grass
Mistook for an old friend.
All things pass,
However much we pretend
Otherwise. You closed your eyes,
And left your mark
Upon my heart.

Below are some photographs:

If you would like to donate to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, who receive no government funding you can do so here: https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/donate-now

Many thanks in advance to anyone who kindly donates.

Dog Bed (revised poem)

On 3 September, I posted my poem “Dog Bed”, https://kmorrispoet.com/2020/09/03/dog-bed/.

The poem as originally posted consists of 3 stanzas. However, I now feel that the second verse is unnecessary. Consequently I have revised the poem, which now consists of 2 stanzas. The revised poem can be found below:

The mark
Of your teeth is still there,
On your old dog bed.
I walk in the park,
Where
The dead
Leaves lie.

Shadows on the grass
Mistook for an old friend.
All things pass,
However much we pretend
Otherwise. You closed your eyes,
And left your mark
Upon my heart.

The Hungry Hound

I wrote, on Wednesday 2 September, about the sad loss of my long-time friend and guide dog Trigger, https://kmorrispoet.com/2020/09/02/trigger/.

As I lay in bed last night, I remembered happier times, including Trigger’s antics in my office. He was, as the below poem shows, extremely fond of helping himself to my colleague’s lunches. Indeed a former manager of mine refered to Trigger’s “victory Roll”, during which he would run up and down the office, at great speed after having consumed the lunch of one of my happless colleagues!

The Hungry Hound:

I am Trigger.
My stomach is bigger
Than you think.
Your lunch will be gone in the blink
Of an Eye.
Then away I fly.
Should you ask “who stole my lunch?” I reply
“Nnot I
But, dear reader, I lie …!..
I have been known to eat plastic.
My reach is elastic.
You think your food Safe?
My friend brace
Yourself for a shock
For I will gobble the lot!
Be it ever so hot!

Dog Bed

The mark
Of your teeth is still there,
On your old dog bed.
I walk in the park,
Where
The dead
Leaves lie.

I
Hear the breeze
And pause by
Trees
You sniffed
‘Ere you where
Cold, and stiff.

Shadows on the grass
Mistook for an old friend.
All things pass,
However much we pretend
Otherwise. You closed your eyes,
And left your mark
Upon my heart

https://kmorrispoet.com/2020/09/02/trigger/

Trigger

A close up of Trigger!

I have lost my dear old friend Trigger. My guide dog who brought so much joy into my life (and that of others), and who served me faithfully as my guide from 4 July 2011.

Trigger relaxing on the ground

Trigger became very unwell on the evening of Saturday 29 July. My mum, sister and I rushed him to the vets. Although Trigger received excellent treatment his condition deteriated. There was no chance of recovery and to avoid unnecessary suffering I took the heart breaking decision to have my dear old friend euthanised yesterday (Tuesday 1 September).

My mum and I spent some 20 minutes or so with Trigger prior to him being sent into that sleep from which none of us return. He circled us with a pilow case in his mouth, his tail wagging and died, peacefully with that same case in his mouth.

I have so often seen Trigger greet me and family and friends with his blanket or some other object in his mouth, his tail waving wildly.

He has left a huge hole in my life. But he died as he lived, happy with a pillow case clamped in his jaws, surrounded by people he loved, and people who loved him.

Trigger in his bed

The below poem, “The Power of The Dog”, by Rudyard Kipling sums up how I feel and, doubtless how countless other dog owners feel (and have felt) on losing a faithful friend:

“There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie—
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find—it’s your own affair—
But… you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!).
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone—wherever it goes—for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long—
So why in—Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?”.

(The above poem is in the public domain).

Below are some photographs of Trigger taken several weeks ago, by my friend Jeff, in a park close to my home.

Trigger relaxing on the ground

 

My friend Trigger and me at the Park

Me petting Trigger

 

Me talking about Trigger

Me remembering Trigger

Famous Writers and their Pets

A fascinating review of a book about authors and their pets, https://interestingliterature.com/2019/11/08/alex-johnson-famous-writers-pets-review/. I knew about Edward Lear’s cat Foss, but had no idea that Byron took with him to university one bear (and not the kind of bear one buys in a toy shop)!

I grew up with dogs and still remember with great affection my first dog, Jet. Jet was a black lab/alsatian cross and loved people. He was though not fond of other dogs and (if he got out of the house) would chase cars!

I am now working with my fourth guide dog, a brindle lab/retriever called Trigger, who has just reached the grand old age of 10.

Trigger has featured in several of my poems, including “The Hungry Hound”, https://kmorrispoet.com/2016/02/03/the-hungry-hound/, and “Dog and Ball”, https://kmorrispoet.com/2019/02/18/dog-and-ball-2/.

Kevin

I Wont Distract You!

Yesterday, I was traveling up on the escalators at London Victoria underground station with my guide dog Trigger, when the following incident took place:

Man a couple of steps above me, speaking directly to Trigger,
“I know you are a working guide dog so I wont disturb you”.
Me, “thank you”.
Man, (looking directly at Trigger, “I wont distract you”, at which Trigger wags his tail and becomes rather distracted!

The above incident is, on one level comical. The comedy arising from the man in question doing precisely what he said he wouldn’t do, namely distract my working guide dog! However the actions of this gentleman where potentially dangerous and (not to put too fine a point on it, stupid)!

Guide dogs are trained to assist visually impaired people to navigate safely around streets, roads etc. They do wonderful work. However they are, when all is said and done dogs, who love attention and who can, when given it, become distracted.

I am very happy (when Trigger is not working) for him to receive strokes and cuddles (provided the person giving the attention has asked first). I rarely refuse a request to pet Trigger. However it is my absolute right to give such a refusal and the stupidity (albeit unintentional) of the gentleman in question had the potential to put my safety (and that of others) in danger. For example had Trigger pulled forward to reach the gentleman I might have fallen putting myself and those behind me, on the escalator at risk.

Fortunately the overwhelming majority of people behave responsibly around guide dogs. I only wish that everyone did so.

Kevin

An Interview With A Difference

I was intrigued and delighted when author and poet Victoria (Tori) Zigler invited my guide dog Trigger, to be interviewed by her own four-legged canine friend.

You can find Trigger’s interview HERE

During the course of his interview, Trigger was kind enough to talk about my poetry (amongst many other things)!

Kevin

2 Poems About My Guide Dog Trigger

Dog And Ball:


My head full

Of dull
Thought.
Then the ball you caught
And waving your tail
Did derail
My introspection.
How can I suffer dejection
When I recollect your playful snort
And the ball you caught?

Early Morning Walk:


My dog snuffles

and scuffles
amongst the leaves.
He is just there
With no care
For what I think
As I drink
In the fresh morning air.