Please cite all poem references: “Excerpt from ‘Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain’ by Barbara Vance.” Thank you!

Smartest Dog

When I say sit my dog lies down;
Rollover makes her bark;
I order her to fetch the ball,
But she just roams the park.

When I say shake she lifts her ears
And sits up straight and tall,
So proud that she knows what to do
(She’s no idea at all).

I tell her speak—she stares at me,
Then rolls across the floor;
I order heel but she just gapes,
More muddled than before.

lie down I bid—she lifts her paw
To rest within my palm;
I tell her come—she lies in bed
Aloof, detached, and calm.

She barks when I am studying
And comes when I can’t play
And rests real quiet on my knee
When I say go away.

My dog knows countless other tricks—
It’s not that she’s not bright—
It’s just it takes a time or two
For her to get it right.

Sit, lie down, rollover, shake—
She knows them all quite well;
What matters most is how you ask,
As near as I can tell.

~ Barbara Vance

Excerpt from the poetry collection “Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain”

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