Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Old Dog

April 12, 2011 Slice of Life Tuesday

“Poetry is a mirror, which makes beautiful that which is distorted.” Percy Shelley

We don’t have pets anymore and I miss having one. As I wrote in an earlier post, sometimes we have grand-dogs visit, but while it’s fun, it isn’t the same. In the last times we had pets, a while ago, we spent three to four years with older animals, a marvelous Olde English Sheepdog called Bentley, a Jack Russell Terrier named Timothy, and a gray shorthair cat, Max. We loved all three and had them, starting with the sheepdog, a total of 18 years. Those final years were both sweet and difficult, holding on to something that wasn’t really there anymore, finding ways to fill both the pets’ needs along with our own. These animals gave much to our family, helped our children grow into adults with compassion and responsibility for living things, gave us many moments of laughter in our lives together, and loved us as we loved them. That last, in itself, is nothing to dismiss. Animals, while needing basic care, offer so much in return—a lick, a wag, a purr—the basic needs of humans, right? I wrote a poem this time to honor all the pets in my life, including those three mentioned above.

My old dog

is now deaf,

and a bit lame,

but he still

nestles his head

beside me

to ask for


He still loves me.

He will not again

leap the fence,

and be my guard.

Now it’s my turn

to take some care

for my old dog.

I love him still.


  1. This poem brought tears to my eyes and memories of our old dog. After we had to put him down, it was four years or so before we got Chloe. We still miss him....

  2. Pets do fill a need in our life and heart. When I stop traveling, I will have pets again. Now I enjoy friends' pets.

  3. Your slice and your poem truly describe the joy of pet ownership and relationship.

  4. I enjoyed your poem. We've outlived quite a few old friends now.

  5. O.K. That's it - between your wonderful poem and that add for the friendly vacume cleaner - I think the time has come for our family to get a dog :-)

  6. This is a sad poem for me but meaningful! I had a dog for 13 years and a cat for 16 and many cats and dogs throughout my childhood. I love animals. I can't bring myself to get any pets now until I retire. I couldn't bare to leave them as I am too busy now. Thanks for sharing! I'm like you, I adopt everyone else's pets for now.

  7. I like how there's the shift in the poem with you taking care of the dog as it gets older. I'm missing my dog right now who is in NY with my parents! :)
    --jee young

  8. I really enjoyed your poem. It reminded me of a slice that someone did during the March challenge about the shift in caring for his parents, rather than being in the "child" role. It was interesting to think about those cycles in another context.

  9. Your poem is so bittersweet and so lovely.


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