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Bereft

A decade and a year
started with
a random pet store visit
where a small black puppy
sitting quietly
looked askance
as her siblings yapped
and threw themselves at wire cage

She never ever ran away
just wandered off sometimes,
always coming back when called
back to the house
and outside
she could usually be found
lying quiet in the shade,
dreaming after panting rounds
of chasing frisbees
or panicked squirrels.

There always was
a thump of wagging tail
when I got home from work,
a click of claws on tile,
a lick across my chin
and paws upon my chest;
and often I awoke
to soft muzzle
in the hollow of my shoulder.

She loved my car
and always stood with head
through open window
taking in the sights
and sounds
of neighborhood
and when we walked
late at night
I never used a leash
because she always loped
along beside me
unrestrained.

She was hurting at the end,
too pained to walk
or sit or even eat
just that glassy stare
of helpless silent suffering

So we took her to the vet
a final time
and I held her in my arms
as she left quietly,
grateful for release,
and we later
spread her ashes
in the garden
where she loved to run.

This morning
when I finished breakfast,
making sure
my disapproving family
could not see,
I took my plate
and laid it on the floor
as I always do
so she could eat as well;
only then
did I really understand
that she is gone.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
Scruffy.
Editing stage: 

Comments

my heart with this one! I miss being able to have a dog. I loved all my dogs, but there will always be a special one. I think that the first poem I ever published here on Neo. was one about my dog Rugby. It took a long time for me to get over having to take him to the vet, "that one last time". Her was having seizures though, and I couldn't stand to see him suffer. I can say with all truthfulness, " I know how you feel." Thanks for a special poem for all dog-lovers, ~ Gee

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She was our first family dog. I don't grieve, not for people, not for pets, but there's a really big hole in my heart that will take a very long time to scar over. I'm not even a 'dog person - or I should say, I wasn't until she became a part of our family. We're seriously considering getting another dog, but we won't find another like her.
I'm glad I touched your heart with this.

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

author comment

Over the years I have had a few friends as your Scruffy walk with me then carry on to where ever they go (That's another story).
It is a sad time but as you I would not let them suffer.
A lovely dedication to Scruffy..
Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

I miss her a lot, even though I know she's still around, almost at the edge of my perception. She hasn't left because she loves it here, you know? I was sitting under our walnut tree last Saturday, and fell asleep, to dream of her putting her head in my lap. She's still here.

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

author comment

Sadie always tells me that she and the children have a new pet to play with if I lose one..
We lost our Pru earlier a beautiful long haired Dachshund, she hurt her back and couldn't walk, so she is there with the children as good as new if not better, Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

I agree with Geezer, This was exceptional. Unconditional love--wish I were able to take care of a dog again, I miss their "presence"" and comfort.

joe

I'm glad that you liked this one so much.
Yeah, like I said, I think we're going to end up with another, soon.
Thanks!

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

author comment

a big fan of pets except maybe some canaries, I thought this piece really touching, especially the last few lines.
Thanks for sharing jim.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

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I must say that I was not a fan of dogs very much until I caved in to my children's pleadings and bought one! I'm a cat person myself, I much prefer their emotional independance and willingness to fight and catch vermin! lol.
But this particular dog really was quite different; smart, self-contained, restrained and repsectful. I miss her greatly.

Glad you enjoyed my poem!

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

author comment

I hate it when they go, You left me with tears streaming down my cheeks, touchingly beautifully sad, this just broke my heart.

sigh...applause

much love JC xxx

("Always and Forever") - (Never lose a holy curiosity.-Albert Einstein)

Yes, it's the worst, losing a pet.
I usually get another right away, to fill the loss, but my wife wouldn't agree, she said it would be a betrayal.
That lasted about eight months. We adopted another from the shelter this past Christmas. She is completely different, but its great to have a canine in the house again!

Sorry I made you feel so sad, but thanks for your enjoyment.

love u sister,

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

author comment

I have read this six or seven times now, not sure how many, and every time i've seen all my dogs from the past. I've alway loved and had a dog at my side, the pain when their time is up never gets any easier. This is a wonderful poem about true unrequited love, they dont need you to love them but you always end up hooked. Thank you for this Jim, Regards Roscoe..

Roscoe Llane,

Religion will rip your faith off, and return
for the mask of disbelief that's left.

I wrote this on the morning that I put that plate down for her. It was a powerful eye-opener for me, one of the few moments in my life when I felt real grief, which is not an emotion I am prone to.

I am glad that you are enjoying this one, thanks again Roscoe.

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

author comment
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