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Dog Rituals for Healing [ by Diana Raab, PhD ] 


        for Spunky


We share everything,

except of course, my love

and a chocolate bar

hidden in my bedside drawer.


His Maltese poodle paws

stretch up to my bed

to say good morning,

before I slide into my duck slippers

which he nibbles on — first thing.


Together we walk

into the garden.


He jolts at a bush’s slight rustle

or bird chirp—ears twitch

in the brilliant morning sun.


We run back inside, as I push

the espresso machine button,

and obediently he awaits a treat,

from his pooch cabinet.


With his cloudy aged eyes

framed by white fluffy fur,

he scrutinizes each of my movements

as I go to the back door

to find his leash.


He wags his tail, stares up at me

with equal adoration and anticipation:

then flips upside down —

I rub his tummy and say let’s go.

So who is happier, the dog or me?

What a gift of healing for both of us!

Diana Raab, MFA, PhD, is a poet, memoirist, blogger, speaker, and award-winning author of thirteen books. Her work has been published and anthologized world-wide. She blogs for Psychology Today, The Wisdom Daily, Thrive Global and is a guest blogger for many others. Her latest book is, An Imaginary Affair: Poems Whispered to Neruda (Finishing Line Press, 2022).  Visit her at:

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