Bending a long-time prohibition in our writer’s guidelines, we want to read—and publish—your remembrances of beloved dogs past on TheBark.com.
Post your homage (or condolences) directly as a comment to a particular tribute below or send your story and photo directly to the firstname.lastname@example.org. (Remember, brevity is the soul of wit.)
His name was Astro.
He had that name when I got him. The young, troubled, hippie girl, who had given him up, had labeled him with that cosmic name. It sure must have broken her heart to have to let him go. Her apartment management had strict rules about "No dogs allowed." So her mean old landlord was taking him in his pick up to the pound. That was when he ran across me in a gas station in Kealakekua, Hawaii. He said "Hey. Do you want a dog?'
He died a day ago. There is a sand-fire up North. White flakes of ash fall from the sky like snow. And yet, this is not what alarms me. I stare at our yard. For almost 12 years, Bowie would appear, from the brush, often with a fully blackened snout from digging in fresh fluffy soil, from fitting his favorite stuffed animals for their graves or burying bones that were just too good to be enjoyed all at once.
Fine, Evil, you win. Take this body. This 12 ½ year old shell of the dog I once was. Take it all. See what it gets you.
Take these eyes. In the end, they were blind to the world and useless to me. I will keep images of every face I have ever loved, ending with Tim holding me as I hopped toward the light and into another world.
Arriving home at 4am with the ghost
weight of my dog gone flaccid in my arms
after I said Yes to the needle, ending twelve hours
of seizure, eleven years of companionship,
just as I had said Yes to the nurse who removed
the lone breathing tube keeping my mother alive,
I drank myself to sleep, dreamed my dog crossed
a meadow, smooth grassy stalks swaying lightly,
seed heads anointing the ridge line of her back.
In the sparkle of dawn, vague gray forms,
her pack, rustled the underbrush around her.
Poochie, my companion and best friend, came to me as a frisky, sweet and gentle eight years old dog. He had a mind of his own and found a way to let me know what he wanted, needed and when. Poochie would patiently wait by the couch for me to come and sit with him. Maybe he would get a belly rub if he were lucky. If it took too long for me to come, he would become vocal. We had our ways to communicate. The love ran deep between us and there was a bond not to be broken.
Slayer was attacked by two large dogs in a moments notice, and he didn’t make it. We buried him earlier this morning.
He was the first person to ever teach me about unconditional love. He would cry if we went in the bathroom and shut the door. He had to be with us no matter what. This dog would hug us. He would lean his two front paws on our shoulders, rub his face against ours, and genuinely embrace us. There’s no denying it for me - dogs are human. They can shut down just like humans do in the face of torture or become as sweet and loving as their owner.
She was their baby in the beginning.
Big, sweet, pale blond, Golden dog baby.
They walked her twice a day,
took her to the dog park beach.
She was calm, laid back,
easy going, even as a puppy.
Ben said he valued sweetness
over intelligence in a dog.
And then the human puppies were born.
She quickly became just a dog.
She didn’t seem to mind the missed walks.
She wore a little dog trail to her allotted
poop spot at the far edge
of the new fenced yard.
The happiness, the laughs,
his barks, the baths
all he took with him.
The sorrow, the pain,
the tears, like rain,
left our hearts dull, lives dim.
The smiling eyes, the golden fur
tail wagging, heart pure
forever we remember him.