He curled up under the deck
like he wanted to die away from us.
The tumor grew to a tennis ball,
too big for his Westie-sized stomach.
He stopped feverishly rubbing his snout on the carpet
after a bath, his fur sticking to his skin from the water.
He couldn’t go for long walks
around the swings and elementary school,
he limped to the stop sign at the end of the street,
then stopped and pulled the leash, no more.
When I opened the door he walked slowly
over to me, licked my leg, his tongue rough.