On Saying Goodbye: Remembering a Fine Dog

I remember you,
young, a man new on his own.
He was, too.

You remember him, happy and free,
land for miles to see and under his feet.
It was yours, too.

Together you explored,
but sometimes you simply watched,
smiling with pride as he returned bur-filled but good tired.

Each fall came, and
the fire in the air sparked the fire in his heart
because he longed for the hunt and it had to be with you.

Sometimes he would find the birds
and other times he fetched.
Oftentimes, though, he ran far ahead and you’d have to get firm,
swearing under your breath
He can do better.

Old dog came back, every time, and you always forgave him because he was so happy among the field of orange-colored vests.

Each fall he grew another year older,
so did you, lines dashing your eyes like the gray on his.

Now it seems this farm boy didn’t expect,
that with each passing year, that dog stole more heart space
until he became the extra limb waiting at the gate each morning,
ready for his place with you.

Ready and waiting, eager for the new day’s adventure with our best human.

South Dakota pup

(Taking part in Backyard Sister’s cinquain writing challenge):

He sighs
Just one more day…
To run among the field.
Disease spreads fast, his body goes.
We weep.

South Dakota dog

~~~

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62 thoughts on “On Saying Goodbye: Remembering a Fine Dog

  1. I am so sorry. We recently lost our dear girl after 15 years. It is never easy, but we can only be thankful for the wonderful years that we shared with them.

  2. This is so beautifully written and heart-wrenching. My heart goes out to you and your husband – I know how much it hurts to lose a faithful friend who has been with you for so long.

  3. Such beautiful words for a beautiful dog. Having experienced this loss in my life twice, I send you my deepest sympathy for a hurt that is deeper than can be explained. He was so lucky to have a loving human family; all dogs should be so blessed

  4. I am so very sorry to read of the passing of your dear friend.

    Know that he would not have left you if there was any way he could have stayed, and that your just being near to him was all he ever wanted. He’ll leave his pawprints on your hearts fur-ever. Hugs to you both and tears for your loss,
    MJ

  5. Oh, your tribute to your old friend is so full of your love and his that it brought me to tears. It seems terribly unfair that our dogs have such short lives. I am so sorry for your loss and especially sympathize since I am still silently howling in despair for our last two golden retrievers. A truly beautiful post.

  6. Sorry to hear about the loss of Old Dog. They do steal your heart; gradually over time it seems, with each happy wag of the tail that greets you at the end of a hard day – and then completely in the end. Please give Country Man my condolences, and then give him a big, long hug, and one for yourself as well. God bless.

  7. I knew, for reading other of your posts, that this time wasn’t far away. So sad for you. We know what it is like to lose such a good friend, a part of the family. We still miss our big yellow lab, Abby.

  8. A very fine tribute, and I must agree on loss being one tough aspect of living. Long live our pets… even given the greater likelihood of our outliving them they live on in our hearts while we still keep the good memories – big hugs<3
    P.S. I wasn't fully ready to post before, so could you please delete the previous post for me? Thanks!

  9. What a beautiful tribute! I am very close to my dog Yukon, as you can see in my blog post he’s with me just about all the time! It’s hard to put into words what these guys mean to us, and how much they will be missed!! Very sorry for your lost friend and companion!

  10. I’m so sorry you lost your dog. I know all too well how hard it is. I lost my dog of seven years, unexpectedly this August while I was on vacation. The hardest was not saying goodbye. You have so many wonderful memories to remember. Cherish those.

  11. A beautiful and heart breaking tribute to a wonderful family member. As my house rabbits get older and I realize they are my favorite ever present part of my house, they are the heart, (at least the heart that doesn’t crowd my bathroom). I wonder what I will call this place where I reside, because “home” will travel with them to the other side. So sorry for your loss.

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