The Great Dog Migration
by Kyle Isacksen

I wrote this story years ago after Snakes Wear Socks was published and kept coming back to edit it over the years​. I tried to find a publisher but that never manifested. It's always been a really fun little story for me and I think, if it was ever illustrated, the pictures would be hilarious. I hope you enjoy it!

A long time ago

On a quiet spring day

The Great Dog Migration

Got under way

 

It began in the backyard

Of one Shelby McCreetch

When Princess, her pitbull

Chewed through her leash

 

Though Princess was first

In doing the deed

Dogs the world over

Followed her lead 

 

At first no one noticed

It was only a few

But day after day

The missing dogs grew

 

Squeakies went silent

The kibble, it crumbled

Collars were empty

And leftovers doubled

 

Reports tumbled in

From near and afar

Of dogs on the move

By bike, train and car

 

A pair on snowshoes

A pack by canoe

A dozen seen swimming

To where?  No one knew

 

The news people tittered

The tweeters all twittered

The buzzing’s and whirring’s 

Were greatly considered

 

“Fake News!” shouted someone

“A conspiracy, too”

Blame those in the red states

Or those in the blue

 

Soon people, the big ones

Moved onto the next

“New Pets can be had!

Don’t worry, don’t fret.”

 

But rocks will not fetch

And possums sleep early

Kangaroos can’t be walked

And Komodo Dragons are surly

 

The cats were ok

Several seen with a smirk

They surely knew something

But they wouldn't talk 

 

The day finally came     

But what could we do?

“Save the Dogs!” someone shouted

“Put the last in a zoo”

 

The idea seemed a good one

Good enough for a meeting

So all of suburbia 

Jostled for seating

 

It was Sparky the Spaniel

Mikey Bean’s only pet

Who, for some reason

Hadn’t left yet

 

Great speeches were made

Some tears even shed

All to save dogs

“For the future.” They said

 

With much to discuss 

The meeting went late

They formed a committee 

At quarter past eight

 

While off in a corner

Left to themselves

Were Sparky and Mikey

By the dusty bookshelves

 

Mikey looked at Sparky

And Sparky, he sighed

His mind was made up

He licked Mikey goodbye

 

Back at the meeting

They typed out a letter 

“To Congress!” they chorused

“They’ll make it better!”

 

A gavel was struck

The meeting adjourned

With decisions decided

To Mikey they turned

 

And there he still sat 

Now all by himself

Near paw prints left

In the dust by the shelf

 

There arose a great clamor

Of “How’s, Where’s and What’s”

Of who was to blame

Of who lost the mutt!

 

But out of the din

A soft voice could be heard

It was Mikey Bean

Who uttered one word

 

A great quiet descended

The reverse of before

To hear Mikey Bean

Speak his truth from the floor

 

“Why.” He said once

To all who were there

“Why” is the word

“Not who, what, or where.”

 

The people stood staring 

Unsure what he meant

“It’s us!” He lamented

“We’re why they went.”

 

Mikey rose to his feet

And shared even more

“It’s our stuff and our things

How we waste how we war.”

 

“We take more than we need,

Way more than our share.

Our greed is too great, 

It’s simply not fair.”

 

He took a deep breath

Looked down at his feet

He thought of Sparky

Then finished his speech:

 

“It’s a wonder they lasted

For so long, in the end.

It must have been hard

Being, ‘Man’s best friend.’”

 

The people were shocked

Astounded!  Confounded!

An uncomfortable silence

With squirming abounded

 

They filed out slowly

With nary a glance

At Mikey Bean or the paw-prints

Near his dust-covered pants

 

Soon all who were left

Were those under eight….

They heard Mikey out

‘til half past late

 

They shared some ideas

To get the dogs back

Because they all knew

We can’t live with just cats

 

They got down to work

The very next day

Small stuff for starters

But small starts are ok

 

A bake sale, a car wash,

And funny pink hats

Cleaned up their rooms

Even walked a few cats

 

They weeded a garden 

Recycled more glass

Made a sweet mural

And picked up some trash

 

Biking was in 

and walking was cool

With a lot more of learning 

and a lot less of school

 

They bettered the soil 

and ate what they grew

They shared with their neighbors 

and talked to them, too

 

Jobbing was out, 

working was in

And naps at mid-day, 

where had they been?

 

They smallered their lives 

and slowered their paces

Made beauty and art 

in everyday places 

 

Building went natural 

With clay, straw, and sand

Homes became sacred 

and so did the land

 

They brought out the elders 

and shuttered the jails

Tended the wild 

and respected the snails

 

It didn’t take long, 

you’ve probably guessed

‘til parents pitched in 

to help fix the mess

 

Big works take time

And one year soon passed

(that’s seven for dogs)

But they were having a blast

 

Years went by

And the kids grew tall

The Great Turning they started 

Had bettered it all!

 

Until finally it happened

On a lovely spring day

A single low bark

Heard far away

 

They picked up their heads

Got quiet real fast

“What was that noise?”

The younger one’s asked

 

Could it have been?

Could it be true?

That noise that they heard

Was one they once knew!

 

They tuned in their ears

They had to be sure

Then it happened again

Three barks and then four

 

And out of the hills

And down through the grass

Such a sight they did see

Dogs!  Coming fast

 

Big ones and small ones

Brown ones and blue

A poodle, a pitbull

Mutts out the wazoo!

 

A great big old white one

The size of a horse

And last but not least

A spaniel, of course

 

They barked and jumped 

We petted and scratched

All were so happy

Except for the cats

 

The dogs had come back!

They had returned

We’d finally done it

We’d finally learned!