For People Who Have Lost A Beloved Pet ...


My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I'll join him right there,
but now he's gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I'll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I'll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he'd keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea's movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean's spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don't now and never did lie to each other.

So now he's gone and I buried him,
and that's all there is to it.
womaninbliss womaninbliss
51-55, F
17 Responses Aug 2, 2010

Great poem

yes I thought so too cirezende

beautiful, thank you.

thanks cocobutter ... sorry that you lost your dog too.

Yes Merily it is amazing how our hearts embrace animals into our family. We do come to love them very much.

thank you zall1rog ... it was very sudden and we are still very sad of course when we remember him. I do remember seeing something about Lord Byron's epitaph ...

thanks temptest and helio. yes our dog that was killed was also a rescued dog. I felt the same way - that at least we'd been able to give him a loving home for his short life ... he was certainly happy ... we miss him too.

Thank you for the poem. Our dog was run over while we were on holiday. Worst homecoming ever. Really didn't realise how much i loved him. He had been abandoned and my wife found him starving in a client''s house 2.5 years ago. I've never been a dog person but knew from the minute I saw him that we couldn't pass him onto a home. He had issues - was aggressive sometimes and was very nervous for the first few months. We got through that and he became the most loving, loyal friend that we've known. We have never laughed (or been so frustrated I suppose) by anything in our lives. We left him with a friend a month ago and he escaped from her garden. There are so many what-ifs that we are going insane but what has happened has happened and life goes on. He had insane energy and probably never would've made it to the old age dogs home but I''m so glad we kept him and gave him some love, as he did for us, for the last couple of years. So sorely missed.

thanks ladee and sharossody ...

Thank you for sharing, and so sorry to see that you lost your pet, [[hugs]]

thank you lover

I wish you the best. I love my dogs, and I understand the passion.

yes they do southernman. Neruda certainly understood this and that's why I thought the poem was so poignant and fitting for this group.

the bond between a person and their pet is one of true love, they ask for nothing and give all.

yes, I found it very moving mizz ((hugs))

I do like Neruda, but I didn't know thos poem either, but it's beautiful, blissy. The simple but profound joys of the bond between human and canine. We always buried the pets that we lost, so this really resonates. ((hugs)) x

Yes I do sweetmeijse ... love neruda's poems and I found this one today ... thank you.