When I was studying poetry in college, Mark Doty came to one of my contemporary seminars to read and discuss his work. Best day ever. Well, at least, best LITERARY day ever.
He was delightful. I'd always adored his work (at the time, I never went anywhere without my dogeared, noted and studied copy of "Sweet Machine"), but hearing it read aloud...no words.
Anyway, he's a golden retriever man. He's written about Beau, his big sweet Golden, in several poems, and his newest book, "Dog Years," is about how Beau was "the life force that keeps hims from abandoning all hope during the darkest days." I know that sounds heavy, but the man wsa losing his partner to AIDS at the time, so his grief was warranted. "Dog Years" is on my nightstand waiting; I can't wait to open it up and start reading.
If you like good poetry, read his stuff.