1. Bessie
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BESSIE music and lryics Gail Martin

We found her under the trailer steps
All beat up, with one ear half-gone
I crawled in to get her, though he said I was nuts
And this poor orphan pup found her home
We had some good years till the plant closed down
And the drinkin’ made him mean and rough
But when he cut little Bessie as he was aimin’ for me
We couldn’t leave there fast enough

But they went and towed that old car that we took
And pretty soon we’d run through all of our cash
You try gettin’ work with no address for the forms
We were shit out of luck, and damn fast
Bessie was useless when it came to a fight
But she could always find us somethin’ we could eat
Curled up together to keep off the cold
We made it through three years on the street

I don’t need to tell you that this life is hard
Or that often, it just don’t seem fair
But if you got even one dog that calls you a friend
Well, you’ve got a lotta what you need right there

But this fall I found a hard little lump
And as it grew my Bessie got thin
By Christmas she couldn’t hold anything down
By Christmas I knew I had to give in
Took us most of the day just to get across town
Through the slush and the hard black piles of snow
Bess all bundled up in my old shopping cart
Her breath comin’ now soft and slow

A nurse picked her up and we went to the back
And as I watched, my friend slipped away
Then this nurse asks me “anything else?”
In a tone I knew meant I’d best not stay
Yeah, she was a hard case, it was plain to see
But when I swallowed hard and sighed
“Yeah, ya got another shot of that stuff for me?”
I swear I saw a tear in her eye

She looked me through for a minute then asked
“You drink? Shoot up? Smoke weed?”
“I smoke some when I can get it” I said
She laughed “next time bring some for me”
“look, there’s a room at my place, it’s crap but it’s cheap
and there’s a kennel job here needs fillin’,
It won’t pay you squat, but it’ll give ya a start,
I’ll put in a good word, if you’re willin’ “