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.