The previous post got me thinking about a poem I wrote after the loss of my Malinois Arrow. In the past 2 years our family has lost 2 more of thise very special dogs, Ricardo and TJ passed last year. Vets always give you the "Rainbow Bridge" poem, but I thought we could do a little better than that and so here is my attempt in rememberance of Ben, Arrow, Penny, Rocky. Ricardo and TJ, all of whom enriched my life so greatly………
I looked at your face today, old man, and
I saw the face of our brother, long passed away.
The white face and the tired look in the eye
Of a dog ever tireless.
I miss you tonight and you’ve not yet left.
But, I know it’s not long.
You’ve been my teacher for some twelve years
And I’ve learned
About responsibility and forgiveness
Truth and loyalty
Laughter and the pure joy of living
The days that grace you.
Soon you’ll teach me your last lessons
About completion and grief,
Respect and remembrance.
How to cherish what you do have and waste not time
Coveting that which you don’t.
You see, I have listened all these years.
It seems we’ve arrived in this place too quickly
And I fear I’ve left something undone or unsaid
Though I know you’ll forgive me, you always have.
But what an adventure we’ve lived
Of successes and failures, an education each
Of faces and places come and gone
Some remembered, and some forgotten.
Every day has become dearer
The laughter has come more easily, and we are moved to simpler joys
No longer is it about trophies or championships
Those things are far away in the past.
We are more than that.
When I look at you now
There is such a dignity about you
Even in your last hours
Even in your pain and weakness
And I promise to recall you with that dignity
And that mischievous eye I’ve known all these years.
Come; lie down old man, at my feet.
Feel the fire on your tired body
Leave away the pains and the labored breath
We’ll think together about easier days
Though none more precious than this last one
Lie down, and rest with me now
You are my son, my teacher, and my brother.
© Girard William Bradshaw February 26, 2004