Toby at the Keg Pull
Carol Travis Alonso
Carol Travis Alonso
In South Dakota, Deadwood town, the snow fell soft today
So stewards closed the busy street and set a course for play:
Our dogs would pull an old beer keg along a stretch of snow,
The doggie with the fastest time that ran with keg in tow
Across the finish line would win a duffel full of toys
That he could share at fetch and run with all the little boys.
The air was full of barks and growling from the canine crowd
Out-numbered only by the cries of masters shouting loud
We entered little Toby at the registration table
Our furry Pomeranian was feeling mighty able
To run the course when Daddy called, with legs so rapid fast
That we were sure that he would beat the lightweight dogs he classed.
He wore a blue-knit sweater coat and saw the steward bring
An empty coffee can that dragged from several feet of string
He looked around, said "What is that?" and soon commenced to bark
Then sat atremble in the snow while girls called "On your Mark!"
His master at the finish line leaned forward proud and tall
And at the "Go", with loudest voice, "Tobee!" began to call.
Our Toby didn't hear him in the din of shouting men,
He started off by sniffing all the bales of straw and then
He peed at every yellow spot where other dogs had been
And stopped to visit with a child who called him in between
His Daddy screamed, his Mommy screamed, but all to no avail
He only barked and wandered slow and wagged his fluffy tail.
But suddenly he heard their calls, his ears perked up on high
And now he was a-racing fast as little feet can fly
He dashed across the finish line and wriggled happily
And proudly pranced and barked and boasted "Look at winning me!"
Our Toby was the first to go, in Deadwood's first keg blast,
And first across the finish line but Oh! he finished last.
Carol Travis Alonso was born and raised in Canada, and proudly became a U.S. citizen in 1959. After a liberal arts degree from Allegheny College in PA, she received a PhD in physics from MIT in Cambridge, MA. For 26 years she worked for the U.S. Government in nuclear defense research and policy at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She is married to physicist Dr. Jose Ramon Alonso, and they have two grown children, Chris and Laura. They divide their time between Orinda, CA, where she trains and shows horses as a United States Dressage Federation Bronze Medal rider, and their log home in the Black Hills of South Dakota, which they share with Toby the red Pomeranian.