I was teaching my dog the Russian word, podkhvát;
The good-natured pooch, never ill at ease,
Lolling, scratching, sniffing, eager to please,
Padded over, proof that he knew not squat.
“Okay,” I said, explicating through action,
“‘Catch’ is the meaning,” and I threw a ball;
Catch? No problem! The thinking hound gained traction,
Ran, leaped, chomped, and slobbered on his haul.
“Not exactly, or rather, not only,” I shouted,
But the cur had gallivanted out of range;
“There’s ‘catch diseases’,” I threatened, “rabies and mange”;
The canine rooted, un-intimidated though routed.
“Or ‘join in’ a song,” I taunted, goading him offhand,
“Remember the fearful fire engine’s dread wail?”
“And how you howl to beat the —, to join in the band?”
His stance was unclear: He’d stuck his nose in a pail.
“Here’s what I really meant: ‘snatch up’ a bone,”
“Forget the other meanings,” I implored;
The mutt of noble birth, not one to be bored,
Barked twice, rolled in the dirt, and chewed the phone,
His language asserting, “Yammering bipeds! Can’t stand ’em!”
Motto: Semper Fido, quod erat demonstrandum.