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September 11, 2008

A Poem For the Dog I Miss So Much

It's been five days now since my sweet Gracie took her last breath in my arms, and some kind people have sent poems to comfort me. There's a surprising amount of poetry for this sad event - way more than I imagined - but I have to say that for me, the most touching and poignant is the following, by Robinson Jeffers, whose long narrative poems I discovered as a moody teenager, and read endlessly.

This is called The House Dog's Grave, and it brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. I share it with one of the last pictures taken of my Gracie.

Sad00_puppy_pjtspets_ho_2         The House Dog's Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)

      I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
      Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
      Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment, You see me there.

      So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
      Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
      And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
      The marks of my drinking-pan.

      I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
      On the warm stone,
      Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
      I lie alone.
      But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
      Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
      And where you sit to read--and I fear often grieving for me--
      Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

      You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
      To think of you ever dying
      A little dog would get tired, living so long.
      I hope than when you are lying
      Under the ground like me your lives will appear
      As good and joyful as mine.
      No, dear, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for
      As I have been.

      And never have known the passionate undivided
      Fidelities that I knew.
      Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
      But to me you were true.

      You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
      I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
      To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
      I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

      Robinson Jeffers, 1941


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Ellie - I am sorry for your loss of Gracie. That was indeed a moving and sad poem. Cherish the memories...

A lovely, moving poem, and a fine tribute to the good life you gave Gracie. Going to go hug my dogs now...

I lost "my Gracie" yesterday. I lost part of my heart then also. Gracie, I miss you so much.

That is really wonderful one and some times it feels very touchy when it happens.

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