“He Loved His Dogs” by Dawn Pisturino

Photo by Bruce Warrington

His whiny, high-pitched Southern drawl

Made her skin crawl.

He never seemed to shave,

Reeked of cigarettes and weed,

And flashed his yellow teeth

With childish grins and empty words,

Seeking babyish attention.

He wore his baseball cap backward,

Pulled low on his head,

And cruised the backroads of Alabama

In a clunky white pickup truck,

Looking for God knows what,

And God knows who,

Letting his dogs hang out the window

And yap at the passing world.

But he loved those dogs;

And that’s not half bad, right?


When his mama died one lonely night,

He howled at the moon

Like a wounded animal,

And then forgot her.

And when another woman’s body

Was recovered from a ditch,

Broken like a China doll,

He hid in the basement,

Clinging to his dogs.

They licked his sweaty face,

Leaned in close for soft caresses

From his rough, calloused hands,

And snarled at the police

Who broke in

And arrested him there.


Even the creeps of this world

Have mothers 

And girlfriends

Who try to make them whole.

But he loved his dogs

More than family

And friends —

And that’s not half bad, right?

Dawn Pisturino’s publishing credits include poems, limericks, short stories, and articles. Her poetry has appeared most recently in Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, and the 2023 Arizona Literary Magazine.



21 Comments Add yours

  1. Lovely verses indeed Dawn!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Francisco!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re very welcome Dawn!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. byngnigel says:

    Sad but true. Everyone has somebody or something to love, and that loves them in return . Even creeps and murderers. I like this theme, this character.. the setting. Very effective and succinct presentation Dawn. 👏👏👏

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Nigel!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. michnavs says:

    Ah, this reminds me of my beloved dogs i lost during the height of pandemic😔 (i wasn’t there beside them)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. nolchafox says:

      So sorry!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. jonicaggiano says:

    Lovely writing and story Dawn. I loved all the description of your character in this poem. Very sad but I think a lot of people believe now that dogs are actually better than mankind because they love unconditionally. Really enjoyed this!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Joni. Although dogs are supposed to be able to sense evil in a person, I wonder if that’s aways true.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Dawn Pisturino's Blog and commented:
    I want to thank Nolcha Fox, Terveen Gill, and J. RE Crivello for publishing my poem, “He Loved His Dogs,” today on Masticadores India. The poem is loosely based on a true crime story I watched and a gentleman who has been annoying me lately. Please visit Masticadores India and show them your support. Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. nolchafox says:

      You’re so welcome, Dawn!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing, Jonathan! You’re so sweet!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I finally figured out how to share your posts! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Congratulations Dawn!! You have once again crafted a story that has a unique feel to its storytelling..You seem to have a bag of eclectic styles, and this one feels new to me…but just perfect for the tale you tell. poetic storytelling is not an easy genre but you most certainly do it justice:)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Karima, your feedback means a lot to me. Hugs and kisses!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Many Hugs & Kisses back to you too:)

        Liked by 2 people

  8. kvbclarke says:

    Searing and evocative!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you very much!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Great story dawn of a telling truth sadly so. ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

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