Friday, January 17, 2014

Poetry Friday - Animals

When William was in third grade (spring 2010) his teacher had the class copy and illustrate poems that "spoke" to them in their journals. This poem by Valerie Worth was one of his choices.
As I flipped through the journal this poem came from I found a short entry on the word brave. Here's a portion of what he wrote.
"My dog is brave during a short thunder storm. My dog is brave guarding her cookie."

As some of you may know, we lost our brave girl this week. Just two weeks after being diagnosed with cancer her quality of life began to diminish much more rapidly than any of us expected. I came home from class on Monday night and we made the decision to have her put to sleep the next morning. Though she was with us for 16 years, it felt like our time together was too short and that the end came much too quickly. We weren't ready to let her go, but it was undoubtedly the right thing to do.

The house is unimaginably quiet now, and I wince each morning as the urge to call her works its way up in my throat and I realize she isn't there to hear me. I've spent the last few days thinking of all the milestones she shared with us, including welcoming William to the family, an event that she wasn't particularly happy about!

I am grateful to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater for sharing a poem with me earlier this week that really resonated. That is the poem I'm sharing today. 

by Miller Williams

I think the death of domestic animals
mark the sea changes in our lives.
Think how things were, when things were different.

Sometimes I think I'm crazy for feeling so lost over the death of a dog, but then I remember that I'm not the only one to feel the loss of a devoted companion so keenly. If you haven't seen this little piece by Jimmy Stewart, take a few minutes to watch him read a poem about his dog Beau.

Before I wrap up I have one more poem to share.

Love That Dog
by Sharon Creech

Love that dog,
like a bird loves to fly
I said I love that dog
like a bird loves to fly
Love to call him in the morning
love to call him
"Hey there, Sky!"

Thanks for sticking with me through this long post. Do check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Keri at Keri Recommends. Happy poetry Friday friends.


  1. Tricia,
    I'm so sorry about your loss. I've said goodbye to three dear four-legged family members in the last few years, and it never gets any easier. I still miss rubbing the funny clump of hair behind Ramsey's ear, and Maggie's laughing spirit, and the way Jack would always insist on laying back to back against me on my bed, no matter how hot it was. May poetry comfort you this week…

  2. 16 years is a good, long time, and I know you have so very many good memories with Sydney. It's hard enough losing a beloved pet, but when the end comes so fast and sudden, I imagine it's even harder. Thanks for sharing the poems and video, which kind of illuminate the special bond between a boy and his dog, a man and his dog. Special love and hugs to all of you.

  3. I look down at Mason lying on his back with his legs sticking up (Why do they do that?) and am hopeful we will have him for several more years. I will pet him a little longer today and take him for an extra long walk. Thanks for sharing all this. I know what a hard time it is for you. So sorry your family is smaller today.

  4. Oh, Tricia -- I am so sorry. I can never, ever think that anyone who loses a pet is silly to grieve - we don't choose who we love, and our pets love us as blindly and unconditionally as we don't deserve, which makes them all the more special.

    Love That Dog undoes me every time.

  5. What a pretty girl she was. So sorry to hear about your loss, Tricia. I dreaded putting my dog to sleep for two whole years (once she first started seeming really "old"), so I understand how difficult it can be to deal with a pet's passing. Hugs to you.

  6. Tricia, I am so sorry. A few years ago, our Henry said, upon laughing at our pets wild play, "You know, we would be completely different people if we didn't have animals." That Jimmy Stewart poem really got me... xo, a.

  7. I so know how you feel. My husband and I had to have our dog put to sleep after 15 years of loving him. He didn't have cancer, but he was at the end of his road, not eating, our wonderful ver walked us through the stages and told us when it was time. There is not a day we don't miss our dear pet. He was a real gift. And yes, our animals teach us about life, for sure.

  8. I think those 'sea changes' are marks in our lives, both lovely memories, and tough goodbyes-what a lovely poem Amy sent, Tricia. I'm sorry for your own goodbye and the loss and that feeling that Jimmy Stewart showed us beautifully. I can still imagine the feel of petting every one of my dogs and cats. It's a void that won't be replaced, yet you may find another head to pet. (Love That Dog is awesome!)

  9. So sorry about your doggie, Tricia - and what a lovely collection of poems you've collected to capture all the love and sense of loss .

  10. You are the good kind of crazy to honor and mourn your lovely dog. Amy's Henry is right, we'd be different without our animals. Thanks for that Carson moment, too.

  11. Again, my condolences, Tricia. I am glad you know/found "Love that Dog" by Sharon Creech. Grief is grief and love is love. And without words, dogs tell us they love us and share in our lives, giving and giving and patient with us, too. I think posting and sharing is a "new" opportunity for remembering those we have lost and a good way to grow through the grief. Even or especially for our furry ones. And poetry. Poetry always helps.
    Janet F. aka Janet Clare on FB

  12. Linda told me about your dog on my post today. I am so sorry for your loss. I posted about the loss of my cat yesterday (Friday). It wasn't expected. A sudden illness of some sort, and we had to put him down. I could only read your post, not watch the video yet. I'll come back to it when there's more time passed. Don't think I could do it today.

  13. So sorry for your loss. Losing a dog is so hard. We lost our sweet puppy (she was 13) not too long ago. Loss is loss especially a companion who is always there for you with unwavering loyalty. Thank you for sharing your pain and the poetry that is helping you heal.

  14. There is still a hole in my heart for our sweet dogs Bess and Anna, and for our cranky old kitty, Jennyanydots. Knowing the pain of loss someday will be great cannot keep my from loving our big dog/cat Will with all I've got.

    This is a beautiful tribute post. I imagine there were tears streaming down your face as you wrote it. There were as I read it.

  15. Tricia, I love how you combined the journal entry and the worth poem. A wonderful tribute. This stafford poem is one of my favorites: At you hold on to those memories.

  16. I'm so sorry! I'm glad we have poetry in times like these!