“I love to walk in Benimussa with Baloney. We take our time, smelling the earth and the trees and when it’s hot, we can smell gas burning in the sun. In Elkins Park, we always had a dog. I grew up with Ginger Peachy and Georgie Girl and they were lovable, but they were family dogs. Baloney has only Izzy and me. She’s great company. She stays with me and runs away and comes back. She always comes back. Baloney’s famous in Benimussa. She can visit someone in the valley on a rainy day with a note tied on her collar in a plastic bag and come back with a message.”
That’s a gigantic bone Noire is chomping on.
I get a whole bag of bones from the village butcher.
But Noire was my friend
before I ever gave her a bone.
One day, Noire the valley shepherd dog jumped up to greet me on the Camino
as if she’d always known me.
As if she was my dog,
from way back when.
I had a dog like Noire once.
And here she is
come back to walk with me
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, bones to bones.
Noire, the valley shepherd dog,
my new friend
my old dog
come back home.