The dog walked into the ballroom

Of the Prince Hotel, mid-town

And dogs don't neither smile nor grin

So this dog could hardly frown

But a muted "woof" from the back of the throat

And some hairs on the neck up-raised

Warned of the trauma that was to come

And the guilt that can't be erased.

Striding across the ballroom floor

Stiff-legged, and proud, and haughty

With the harness taught, and a care for aught

Save trouble, and being naughty

Then a lunge at the leash and a burn on the wrist

And the mouth opened wide with a growl

Served as complement to the pained intent

Of the owner's anguished howl.

Disgrace was never a virtue,

And reprimand never a sin

So the harness stretched on the well-groomed wretch

And the patience wore well thin

Until with a manner most fragile

And the grace of a race well run

She sank to the floor with a muted roar

As if she'd never begun.