You stopped at every corner,
off leash, and waited for a
voice command to cross the street.
Once, you taught a novice named
Kali to do the same, in only five days
of walking together.
Always tolerant of cats, you had
no patience for men who meant me ill.
Once, you reared up like your namesake,
Ursa Minor, Little Bear, only you were
Big Bear by then, and fearsome as a grizzly.
I live and breathe today because of you,
long gone to ashes on the bookcase.
I look at your urn and salute,
and yearn for the feel of your fur again. Shalom.