The Last Battle - A Poem For All Grieving Dog Owners

I found this poem before Buddy passed away and it helped me so much before and after his death. I searched for hours on the internet hoping to find something that would take the pain away as much as possible and this one was the closest. I hope it helps you.
The Last Battle
If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must done,
For this,
the last battle, 
can't be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day,
more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test,
we have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end and hold me firm and speak to me,
until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time  you will agree,
it is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail it's last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don't grieve that it must be you,
who has to decide this thing to do;
we've been so close, we two,
these years, 
Don't let your heart hold any tears.
author unknown
Please post any poems here that have helped you out - I'm sure we could all benefit from them
seaglasswitch seaglasswitch
38 Responses Feb 11, 2012

I have just lost my handsome wee boy 4 days ago to westie lung disease he was 14years old we had to make that awful desition to let him go our hearts are breaking my minds full of guilt was it the right time we all miss him so much every day he was getting worse he was struggling for breath walking exhausted him I feel totally heartbroken and lost without him

To all people that have lost a close furry baby (pet for others). I call them Furrmalliy members. Im sure you may have read the poem The Last Battle. Well I have written some music to the poem and recorded it, (definitely not high end, still need to master the file which I still need to relearn.) but if ya want the demo just pm me your email address.... Ill try to send you the demo mp3

I have been down that road too many times to count. It never gets easier.

I've made the appointment for euthanasia for my 14 yr old boy, Ben this coming heart is just twisted! Your stories and this poem keep me in check; I am doing the right thing, I know I am. It just feels so painful - pain worst than my beloved Grammie's passing. I feel conflicted and almost confused about my sadness. Why is it worse than a human!?!?
After reading everyone's stories I know we are in the same boat. I just needed to put something down here...this is going to be a long week. I'm glad to have found this site! Thank you all for sharing. Amy

Dear Amy - my heart goes out to you. Please let me and every one know how you are doing. People care here - they really do. I will respond if you write back and please know I share your pain and understand how you feel. It is painful when a pet dies and for me it was because Buddy was so helpless in the end. He couldn't communicate with words of course and I agonized every day thinking about was he in pain, was he ready to go, was it his time or did he want to carry on. I agonized about life without him - selfish I know - but I'm only human. Even praying that I would be brave enough to be a comfort to him to the very end without breaking down and upsetting him just about did me in. But my family always pulls together at times like these and with their help the right decision was made for Buddy at the right time and we were all there to comfort Buddy to the very end. A month or two after Buddy's passing my partner and I were out for a walk and we came across a dog that could have been Buddy. She was identical in looks. I felt I looking at Buddy when he was young and healthy. We had a photo of Buddy that we showed to the owner and we both cried. I will always feel that Buddy had a hand or rather a paw in that intervention and it was his way of telling me that he was doing fine and not to worry. I still miss him and always will.

I haven't been back here for awhile but I am always grateful I found this poem. My beloved cat Marley passed away at 17 in November and O'Malley passed away at 18 in December. They were always there for me when I needed them and I miss them so much. I couldn't be there when they went and I feel so badly about that. My mom died last year and my dad went into a nursing home and I had a terrible year with so many things that went wrong. My ex-partner and my daughter were there but I couldn't. I just felt so overwhelmed with my mom's death so fresh in my mind that I knew I couldn't handle it and that it would hurt more than I could cope with.

I read that you cry a little less everyday. I don't know. My heart is hurting so bad. I miss my Buster, Mr. BB, so much. They tell me I did the right thing yesterday but I still wonder. I'll love you forever, Buster.

Thank you do much for sharing this poem. I helps with the grieving process. I lost my dog on August 29, 2014. This will be a tough Christmas without her.
Much love, Avenging Hyena

How was your Christmas without your beloved pet? Tough I'll bet. I cried on Christmas Day. My daughter gave me a plaster cast of my Marley with a tiny package with some of his bright orange fur. I miss my cats so much and always my Buddy. I am glad the poem helped you. I just wish I knew more about the authour - do you?

This is so true in memory of Domino Sir Charles Glen
Pass on Oct ,4 2014

Someone very special introduced me to this poem about 7 months ago. At the time I never imagined I would be so close to go through something like it. One night my best friend Mota wasn't feeling well so I took her to the Hospital as fast as I could. The vet examined her and told me the most horrible words I could ever hear, she was ill with terminal Cancer. She only had 4 weeks to live. My world collapsed and I felt very hopeless. In my despair Mota gave me all the love that she could ever give. I tried to be strong and not let her see me crumbling down. She spent her last weeks surrounded by her family, going to parks and being very loved. She started to get very ill 5 days before she passed. I didn't want to make the very difficult decision of putting her to sleep. I prayed to God to either cure her or be the one to take her life. He spared me that responsibility. She passed on the 1st of April 2014. There has not been a day ever since that I don't think of her. She gave me so much love, I'm pretty sure many people on this forum can understand what I'm talking about. Dogs give you unconditional love, they are loyal and those are two things I will never forget.
I'd like to add that I highly respect all those people who face the difficult decision of putting your pets to sleep. I thankfully didn't have to do it but I know many people who have and it was the hardest thing they have ever done.

I know how u feel

Its been a month today that I had to put my dog down. He was my best friend n it hurts so much not having him next to me. Tears instantly came to my eyes reading this. I no it says to not hold the tears in your heart but its just so hard to let go of him when he was so much to me. He was sick due to cancer n I have only became to hate that word since this is my second battle myself with it at 28 years old. My four tear old n 8 year old have grown up with him n saying good bye when really don't no how is very hard.... I am sport for ur loss and the pome is very touching

I found this poem many years ago when Clem needed to be put down. I wanted to create a little memorial to Clem to have on a self of my new home. I needed to find the editable text, and came across your posting from 2012. Thank you for putting it online, so I could find it again. I'm crying all over again, because I'm still sad and I still miss him. I suppose I always will. It's been over 10 years. I hope you get this response. Here's to Buddy and Clem! Jerrold

Even though this poem has me in tears, I believe it couldn't of been said any better. My poor baby Bailey Bai is dying of cancer and arthritis through her body. We adopted her 4yrs ago and she has always been our treasure. No one could ask for a better dog. We all swear that she is part human. It is amazing how well behaved and how smart our mutt always is. Now, it saddens our hearts to see our precious girl in so much pain. My husband and I are struggling to make the final call about letting her rest. We have two teen children and a 7yr old that cry every day with us. They know it's the right thing to do but its the reality of letting it happen. I sit here, now, crying as I write this feeling as though my heart is being torn to shreds. I've always been a dog owner but for some reason this little girl just pulls on my heart strings. Thank you for writing and sharing this poem with everyone. It's beautiful in every way.

Thank you this helped me a lot I lost my baby Ozzie 2 weeks after my grandma passed and the bad part is I don't know where he is all I have is his collar my mom doesn't know where he is she wouldn't put him in her car because he's been dead for a few day

Chase is in heaven now. You are all better now my friend.......

As u already know, the poem is beautiful. I'm within days of having to put my little guy down. As of today,"Chase" is only 1 year & 3 days young. He's been sick since birth (no portal vein, liver problems & kidneys r now shutting down) After recently losing our other furry friend (Buddy) 10.5 years young. I would've never thought we would b back here so soon. If u can remember my (2) best buds in your prayers. God Bless You, Chase & Buddy. Love, Daddy, momma, James & Grandma R.I.P. my friends

Beautiful poem. Even though it's been 3 years since I lost my Noah, I still miss him. He was my first rescue dog.

I read a quote somewhere once that just stuck with me. It goes, "Death ends life, not relationships."

Thank you for this. It's been three months now since I had to put my baby girl to sleep. The pain is easing a little but I am missing her so bad tonight. Then I found this poem, and it did help a little. God bless you. God bless your Buddy, and God bless my Maddy.

Thanks again to the author of this poem. You have touched so many lives with the beauty of your writing. Dearest Buddy - I miss you so much. The years have not lessened the pain or sorrow. YOu will be the first soul I will search for when I pass on.

A friends puppy just found out he has cancer so I posted it with your poem to make them feel better. I hope you don't mind. I hope it helps her.

I just put my dog Haley down a few days ago. This poem says it all. I still ask, "Did I do the right thing". Haley couldn't walk well, kept falling over and she seemed like she had had enough. She will always be in my heart and I miss her terribly.

I put my six year old dog to sleep today and this poem was nice . I have a great hole that will never be filled god bless all who love their animals!

I'm sorry for your loss :( It's been six weeks since I lost my dog and it still feels like it happened yesterday.

It's three weeks tomorrow that I had to put my dog to sleep and I still haven't come to terms with it. This poem is so beautiful though :) it explains the experience so well.

Loveeeee it!!! Thank you very much

I am so glad I found this poem. It seems to have helped many people. I am very sorry for the loss of your beloved dog. Such a painful, painful thing to do but to watch them suffer is even more painful. Your promise to protect him from suffering made me cry. I've never thought of it like that but you are so right. They are helpless creatures and if we take on the responsibility of caring for them all their lives we must do what is right in the end too. Thank you so much for sharing that. You sound like a special dog-loving person to me and any dog that you get in the future will be be very lucky indeed

Thank you for this website. Last night I put my companion of 17 years to sleep. Most difficult decision ever made in my life yet it kept my promise of protecting him from suffering. Physically he is gone but he lives on in my memories and in all that is beautiful, kind and good. Each day I'll try to cry a little less. Hopefully one day I'll be able to share his lessons of love with another dog or two. Rest in peace Poochini, my friend. Until we meet again.

Dear Bellysmommy - I made a sort of vow that whenever anyone would make a comment about this poem or share their sorrow I would try and respond. As always your story made me cry. So many loving dog owners and so many loving dogs. Where do we all go in the end? Your little dog is so sweet. I am so sorry you went thru such a sad time with your little angel. I am sure that even though she was not conscious she knew you loved her. I think a dog's instinct is special and strong and makes them aware somehow of their loved ones no matter what. Maybe it keeps them alive. Please write back anytime. I know that's what I"m hear for.

This made me cry. I had to take my Isabella off life support on 4/17/13 She was 7 years & 11 months exactly. She had an enlarged uterus & had surgery & made it through. I went to see her & she was looking better. Then the next day her vet tells me she has a heart murmur & theres fluid in her lungs & she's in poor condition.The day before she died she sat up, ate & was ok. Then the next day she was gone. She was in a semi coma when I got there & I called out to her & she responded by blinking. They took the tube out her throat & put her in an oxygen incubator. Seconds later she starting convulsing & her tongue was rolling back. She coded for the 2nd time. I couldn't be selfish so I had to tell them let her go. I tried everything possible to try to save my Isabella. It hurts so much!!! I feel a piece of me died that day. I feel bad for waiting 3 days before taking her to the vet. I feel bad for not spending more time with her. I know she missed me. She was only away from me 9 hrs of the day. I know its not my fault & I'm just feeling every emotion. It just hurts soooooo damn bad!!! I cremated her. I'm just waiting for them to call me so I can pick her up. I just want to bring her home. RIP Isabella mommy MISSES you and LOVES you so much!!!!!!!!!!

I'm really sorry for your loss. I know how that feels and how devastating it is to see someone you love so ill. You just have to think of all the good years you guys had together. You'll always miss her but she'll always be in your heart. And no illness can ever take all the love that was shared between the two of you,

Thank you so much. I just put my beautiful Bonnie girl to sleep two days ago. She was so ill and looked at me and I knew I had to end her suffering. After 14 and a half years together I am at a total loss. I feel so empty and like there is something major missing. And there is it's her. It is all so fresh right now. I got Bonnie when I was 18, so she was my first baby, my family and my best friend. I will always love her. I feel like I will never get over this. Every where I look at home I feel like she should be there. As she was my shadow for so many years, even up to the end when she could barely walk. The part in the poem where it says "stay with me till the end and hold me firm and speak to me", is exactly what I did. I told her i love her, and thanked her and she is such a good girl.

Thank you

Dear Outforarunner29 - I'm so very, very sorry for your loss. I still read the poem even though it's been almost two years ago that Buddy left us. I don't know what I would have done without Project Experience. I can still remember the night I found it - I was surfing the net hurting so bad that night and there it was a website that understood what I was going through. I"m so glad the poem helped you. I've said it before many times before but the line "hold me close till my eyes no longer see' helped me more than anything anyone could have done or said. I did just that - held him close till his eyes could no longer see. I have been thinking of sending this poem to dog magazines just to see if one would accept it for publication. If it would help others as it has helped us I'd be so grateful. As I didn't write it I don't know about the legalities of that although thanks to one kind reader we know who wrote it. Please believe that your beloved pet is at peace and pain-free now and that you will be re-united with her someday. I think about it all the time.

So glad i found this poem. I am so brokenhearted right now, we had to put our precious baby girl to sleep four days ago because of bone cancer. My heart just aches for her.

Dear RockyKenny - I wish I could take your pain away I truly do. I did the same thing with my Buddy - held him close till the very end. It was such a terrible decision to have to make as I'm sure you know but I didn't want him to suffer any more. If it would not hurt you to print the other poems that helped you please could you? Even after almost 2 years I still hurt.

Thank you so much I had to put my Kenny to sleep in July seems like it just happened I read this poem and two others while the Vet was injecting him, I kept re reading till his eyes closed and he took his last breath.... he is buried just outside my window in Turks and Caicos... think of him through the day and just want one more time to hold him.. but, I rescued an abused Cocker Spaniel and she has so many of the same traits as Kenny, I think sometimes he is there to tell her to cuddle and be silly as he was.. again thank you

Thanks Wetdog for finding the author of this poem. I wonder if she is still alive because I'd love to thank her for her poem. I did find an obituary for a Julia Napier but I don't know if it's the same person. It's after 2 in the morning and here I sit at the computer missing my lad so much. It's been almost 2 years and yet it's like yesterday. I hurt so bad tonite and I don't know why.

You made me cry, and for this poem I thank you.

I am so touched by your thanks. I just wish I knew who wrote this beautiful poem so I could thank them for helping me out when I needed it the most. I don't think there is a day that goes by that I don't remember it and think of my Buddy.

I did a Google search and found this poem was written by Julia Napier and copyrighted in 1999. Your wish has been granted, and all of the credit in the world to Julia for understanding our pain.

just lost my rottie 4 days ago .i feel like my hearts been ripped out of my chest he was my best mate he came everywhere with me dont think il ever get over this

Tears fill my eyes as I write this, but then I still get teary eyed thinking of any of my departed dogs. Most recently I lost Haley, a Yellow Lab that passed away just three months ago.
Haley was like a child to me. My pillow at night, and my best friend 24 hours of the day. With that said, allow me to make my point: No matter how much pain is experienced due to the loss of a pet, I honestly and sincerely believe that my life would have been more painful had I not had such companionship. All of the tears combined that fell from losing two Golden Retrievers and Haley are nothing when compared to the thought of not having had them in my life.
I do hope you can find some comfort in these thoughts, and consider finding another tail wagging friend.

Thank you for your kind thoughts. You are very right about having them versus not having them in our lives. When I look at the little teddy bear faced sweeties we are doggysitting for 6 months and the trusting looks they have on their faces as they cuddle close to us still not understanding where their owners are and being such troopers about it I feel Buddy sent them to me and that he is at the Rainbow Bridge. My partner and I have talked about it and we feel that right now we want to help out rescue dogs when these little guys leave. My daughter has one. It it a society that goes to California to a high kill shelter and takes 3 or 4 at a time home here in Canada and there they go to caregivers until they are adopted. My daughter's dog was actually in the euthanasia room when she was rescued. I have a lot of love and I think we could make a real difference in these dog's lives.

Yes it is beautiful isn't it? As my beloved Buddy was put to sleep the words "hold me close till my eyes no longer see" went over and over in my mind as I held him. Even now I read it and like you it still hurts. We have two cats and are doggysitting two dogs plus my daughter moved back home with a rescue dog but none of them will replace Buddy even though I love them.

What a beautiful poem, I lost my dog Pebbles just over 2 years ago now due to old age and it still hurts.