A Dog for Jesus
By Jane L. Sears
I wish someone had given little Jesus a dog
As loyal and loving as mine
To sleep by His manger and gaze in his eyes
And adore Him for being divine.
As Our Lord grew to manhood, His own faithful dog
Would have followed all through the day
While He preached to the crowds and made the sick well
And knelt in the garden to pray.
It is sad to remember that Christ went away
To face death alone and apart,
With no tender dog following close behind
To comfort his Master's heart.
And when Jesus rose on that Easter morn,
How happy He would have been
As his dog kissed his hand and barked its delight
For the One who died for all men!
Well, the Lord has a dog now; I just sent him mine,
The old pal so dear to me.
And I smile through my tears on this first day alone,
Knowing they're in eternity.
(Waiting for me.)
Submitted by Bill Mansfield:
I said goodbye to my dog a couple of weeks ago. She was a good one. I used to call her an almost pure bred Husky. We met back in 79 when we were both puppies, although she was a little younger than me. I was living over on J st. in a house next to an apartment that was another house converted to take advantage of the college students that would come and go during the year. Well, one couple living there at the time decided they was gonna breed dogs and sell em for the money, which seemed like a good idea I suppose. The only hitch was they hadn't figured far enough into the future; so they was stuck with a bunch of barking and hollering puppies at the ends of short ropes tied to a tree in the back yard. Time went by and some of them began to disappear. One day you'd see them all there; the next one would be gone. I never really saw anyone come to get them. In fact I began to suspect they was killing em in the night and eating em or dragging em
off to god knows where. By the time there was two left I had decided I could take on the human responsibility of owning a dog so I began to build a house in the corner of the yard. I built it out of oak pallets with nothing but a hammer a saw and a chisel to carve some sort of decoration into the thing. It took two days of hard work. When I was done I stood at the edge of the yard looking over to where the two remaining puppies were tied up just watch. Trying to decide just exactly which one I was gonna keep from disappearing. As I said I stood at the edge of the yard watching. She turned to me and I swear began to smile. If you're familiar with this breed of dog you'll understand what I mean by this as the markings on their faces seem to create another face. A spirit face meant to reveal the inner being of the thing if you understand my meaning. I remember at the
time thinking that two faced dogs are hard to come by and judging by her spirit face she might be the one to give a name to. I picked Haida. I began by whispering the name in her direction. I figured if it was her she'd say something back and that would seal the deal. Well as I said she was smiling in my direction and when she heard me speak her name the look of understanding came over her face and she began bouncing up and down and back and forth at the virtual end of her rope. Then she stops to face me and lowers her head down so I could see her other face in its entirety and began talking to me in the softest, sweetest little voice I ever heard. "A hooo wooo wooo." Now the words didn't mean much to me but the way she was saying them went to my heart like an arrow. That was twenty two years ago
and I hear that's a long time for a dog. Well its a long time for a human too I guess. We've been friends almost the whole time I guess. We never really sat down to talk about it. I miss her...
At the End of the Road
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no tears of sorrow
Why cry for a soul set free
Miss me a little but not too long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love we once shared
Miss me but let me go
For this is a journey we must all take
And each must go alone
Its all part of the master's plan
A step on the road home
And when you are lonely and sick at heart Think of the times we only know
For there you will find comfort
Miss me - but I must go
I am including a poem that was written about sixty years ago by Mina Brown from St. John's on the death of her beloved Newfoundland, Larry, which was bred by the late Hon. Harold Macpherson of Westerland Kennels in St. John's, Newfoundland.
A LITTLE PRAYER FOR LARRY
Is there a country, Lord, where thou does keep
A place reserved for dogs that fall asleep?
Large, airy kennels, yards for hiding bones,
A little river chattering over stones,
And wide, green fields for those that never knew
A smoky town, an old worn rug or two
Before a fire where sparks do not fly out--
Sparks are such nasty things to have about.
I like to think there is, and so I pray
For one young Newfoundland that died today.
He was so full of fun, not very wise,
The puppy-look still lingered in his eyes;
But he was very dear; he'd come to me
And rest his soft, black chin upon my knee.
Thou knowest him. One night not long ago
He tramped with me across the frozen snow;
And there beyond the wood, peaceful and still,
We met Thee walking on the moonlit hill.
Lord, keep him safe, wherever he may be,
And let him always have a thought for me,
That I may hear, when I pass through the dark,
Thy soothing voice, and then a friendly bark.
M. M. Brown
Contributed by: Jacky Petrie
EPITAPH TO A DOG
NEAR THIS SPOT
ARE DEPOSITED THE REMAINS
WHO POSSESSED BEAUTY
STRENGTH WITHOUT INSOLENCE,
COURAGE WITHOUT FEROCITY,
AND ALL THE VIRTUES OF MAN WITHOUT HIS VICES
THIS PRAISE, WHICH WOULD BE UNMEANING
IF INSCRIBED OVER HUMAN ASHES,
IS BUT A JUST TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF
BOATSWAIN, A DOG
WHO WAS BORN AT NEWFOUNDLAND
AND DIED AT NEWSTEAD ABBEY
NOVEMBER 18, 1808
When some proud son of man returns to earth,
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below;
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth:
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
They smiles hypocrisy, they words deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye! who perchance behold this simple urn,
Pass on--it honours none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend's remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one--and there he lies.
It all began last month when chief reporter Denis Robinson gave a talk to Hucknall Parish Church's Mothers
During his address, he recited three poems he had written â and one was about Boatswain.
At that time, he had no idea of the dog's bi-centenary. But a branch member asked if he could provide her with a copy and a similar request later came from Mavis Ellis, of Papplewick.
Mavis has learned that the bi-centenary is a big event for people of Newfoundland, Canada. After all, Boatswain has played a big part in putting the province on the world map.
As a result, Mavis has sent a copy of Denis's poem to the Mayor of Newfoundland's capital, St John, and asked if it can be circulated to junior schools in the province.
Other copies have been forwarded to Byron's ancestral home, Newstead Abbey. Boatswain's imposing tomb, complete with the poet's famous epitaph, is located in the abbey grounds.
One copy has been placed next to the well-known portrait of Boatswain by Clifton Tomson and others will be given to children who visit the abbey.
The poem, entitled "Boatswain's Response", is an impression of what the dog might have said in response to Byron's moving epitaph. It reads:
'Ever faithful, here I lie
Under Newstead's changing sky.
I am Boatswain, he for whom
Byron built this noble tomb.
Every dog will have his day.
That at least is what men say.
But my master gave to me
He thought I was his sole friend,
One on whom he could depend.
Well, I say with true emotion
He deserved all my devotion.
Thanks to this memorial
Animals can all walk tall.
With this gesture, oh so bold,
Each poor beast has been extolled.
With a grief which does not cease,
I wish I had been in Greece
And, when my dear master died,
That I had been by his side.
But my heart is not oppressed
For I am so much at rest
And, as centuries pass by,
Still a sleeping dog I lie.
I may smile with wry content,
Slightly tinged with merriment,
When a boy, with wide-eyed stare,
Says: "Mum, there's a DOG in there!"
13 June 2003
I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you, that I'm not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said "it's me."
You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It's possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew ... in the
stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning
and say "goodnight, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out ... then come home to be with me.
Submitted by: Joan C. Bendure
Ten Commandments for Dog Owners
My life is likely to last ten to fifteen years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you buy me.
Give me time to understand what you want of me.
Place your trust in me--it's crucial to my well-being.
Don't be angry at me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your entertainment and your friend. I have only you.
Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your voice when its speaking to me.
Be aware that however you treat me, I'll never forget it.
Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones of your hand but that I choose not to bite you.
Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food or I've been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak.
Take care of me when I get old; you too, will grow old.
Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, "I can't bear to watch it," or, "Let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, I love 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 be 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 to 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 its 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.
Submitted by Lynne Rutenberg
A Litany for Dogs
Hear our prayer for man's best friend,
Filled with true hope and care and love. For this our prayer of concern we send
Straight to the Lord above.
WE PRAY FOR OUR DOGS
That come when we call
That greet us at the door
That gaze at us with big brown eyes
That have a favorite toy
WE PRAY FOR OUR DOGS
That have no one to go to
That stare silently out of cages
That refuse to make eye contact
That have no toys to play with
WE PRAY FOR OUR DOGS
That sit on the cat
That lie at our feet
That would do anything for a cookie
That give us a wet sloppy kiss
WE PRAY FOR OUR DOGS
That have never known companionship
That sleep wherever they can
That have not eaten for days
That bite in pure panic driven defense
WE PRAY FOR OUR DOGS
That try to fit on our laps
That step on our toes
That will wear silly hats
That take up the whole couch
WE PRAY FOR OUR DOGS
That shiver in the cold
That cower in terror
That have never been for a walk
That have no home
WE PRAY FOR OUR DOGS
That push us out of bed
That wiggle all over when we come home
That knock over the trash can
That bring such joy to our day
WE PRAY FOR OUR DOGS
That live only to give birth
That have nothing to look forward to
That forage for food
That may never hear a kind word
WE PRAY FOR OUR DOGS
That look for us if we leave the room
That hide under the table on "nail day"
That forget the word "stay"
That love us no matter what
WE PRAY FOR OUR DOGS
That have eyes that reflect pain and fear That hide in alleys
That live tied to a tree
That have never been loved
We pray for dogs that run in play and those that run because of fright, for those that obey out of love and those that try to oblige until they break, for those we never give up on and for those that don't get a second chance. Embrace these little and not so little ones. Guard them, protect them, and grant them a peace that only we as humans can deny them. Forgive mankind's abuse to these that were meant to be a most precious and special gift.
From a poem called, "The Big Fellow"
by: E.J. Pratt (1883-1964)
And I thought of the big Newfoundland
I saw, aleep by a rock
The day before,
That was galvanized by a challenge,
But eyeing a cur,
Closed one eye,
Then the other,
by: W. Dayton Wedgefarth:
So my good old pal, my irregular dog,
my flea-bitten, stub-tailed friend,
Has become a part of my very heart,
to be cherished till life-time's end:
And on Judgment Day, if I take the way
that leads where the righteous meet,
If my dog is barred by the heavenly guard
we'll both of us brave the heat!
I once read a quote by James Thurber that I wish I had written down, 'twas something about dogs would be in heaven for sure, but man was less definite.
Here's a couple from Val in Pittsburgh:
He Only Takes The Best
God saw she was getting tired
and a cure was not to be.
So He put His arms around her
and whispered "Come with Me"
With tear filled eyes we watched her
suffer and fade away
Although we loved her deeply,
we could not make her stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
a hard working mind put to rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best
God looked down from Heaven
and saw a golden ray
and made a grave decision
and took an angel away
to lie at His feet
and gaze upon His face
a heart so full of love
a face so full of grace
our hearts are now left empty
yet full for having known
a friend so kind and loving
always with us yet forever gone
rejoice in His decision
the tears shall fade away
she now looks down from heaven
God took an angel today
Red Fern's Jennifer Heart
"Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you.. I loved you so--- 'twas Heaven here with you."
Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal
dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to
Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends
so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and
sunshine and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor;
those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we
remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy
and content, except for one small thing: they each miss someone very
special, someone who was left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops
and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body
begins to quiver. Suddenly, he breaks from the group, flying over the green
grass, faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your
special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to
be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again
caress the beloved head, and you look once more into those trusting eyes, so
long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together...
Somewhere on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a huge, peaceful lake. There are trout and other fish swimming in that lake. The beaches surrounding it are covered with small, round pebbles. Cliffs climb into a dense forest of fir trees. A stream ripples over rock leading towards the ocean, and there are ferns, berries, and wild flowers growing along the edges of it.
Lying along the edge of the lake there are Newfies. Some are in the shallow water, just keeping wet and cool, others are up on the beach relaxing in the shade of the trees or on some patches of old snow. Others are swimming with sticks in their mouths, like they used to carry bumpers for their people. Some are diving for fish or rocks. Still others are walking up and down keeping watch over the others, and looking, waiting, waiting ...
This is for the water dogs we've lost too soon, because there's never a good time to lose one of these treasures....Calypso, Bear, Ophie, Shad, Whitney, Teddy, and all the others we've known and loved so well.
Been owned by Snowycreek's Calypso CGC,TDI(1/3/93-3/1/95); Benhil's Sweet City Woman (Whitney)CGC,TDI (4/30/87-2/6/98) Padell's Theadorable Bear (Teddy)CGC,TDI (3/25/95-11/24/99); and Padell's Mischievous Angel (Misty) TDI
A Glimpse of the Rainbow Bridge
Was it today; yesterday; a week; a month ago?
There are no days; there are no nights since my furchild died.
I reach to pet my furry friend who is no longer here.
My heart is broken; my arms are empty; how many tears I've cried.
I leave the house, into the lane we always walked together.
The rain is falling. I notice not. Just more tears on my face.
She used to lead me down the lane. Her spirit leads me still.
But we go a different way to a very strange and different place.
I stand before a rustic bridge I've never seen before.
I stop. I know I'm not to cross. But why, I want to know.
And then the rain suddenly stops. I look up into the clouds.
I look down. The bridge is gone and in its place is a rainbow.
I look across the Rainbow Bridge and see a joyful sight;
Thousands of healthy furchildren playing with my beloved pet.
I want to run and love her, but I'm rooted to the spot.
She looks and wags her tail and I hear her bark, "Not yet."
And then her bark turns to a voice and I hear her say,
"You cared for me, you played with me and loved me to the end.
I'm healthy now, don't cry for me. I'll meet you here again.
Others need your love and care. I'm sending you a friend."
I rub my eyes and the rainbow is again a rustic bridge.
I send a prayer for that quick glimpse to the loving God above.
I hear a noise and glance back down. I can't believe my eyes.
Across the bridge, my darling pet sent a furbaby for me to love.
I pick up the furry bundle, hold her close to my dampened cheek.
She nuzzles my neck, kisses my tears. It's true love at first sight.
Not to replace the one who's gone; another who needs my love and care.
My eyes are drawn upward to see a Rainbow Bridge in radiating light.
Copyright, 1995 Jean L. Mowry-Everett
The Power of the Dog
by: Rudyard Kipling
There is sorrow enough in the natural way From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store, Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bit you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head. Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.
When the fourteen years which Nature permits Are closing in asthma, or tumor, or fits, And the vet's unspoken prescription runs To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair-- But...you've given your heart for a dog to tear.
When the body that lived at your single will, With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!); When the spirit that answered your every mood Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart for the dog to tear.
We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay. Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe, That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong, A short-time loan is as bad as a long--
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear? --
Contributed by: M. Ashley McLure "Man's inhumanity to man is only surpassed by his cruelty to animals."
A DOG IN HEAVEN
An old man and his dog were walking down a dirt road with fences on both sides. They came to a gate in the fence and looked in. It was nice, with grassy, woodsy areas-just what a huntin' dog and man would like-but it had a sign saying, "No Trespassing," so they walked on.
They came to a beautiful gate with a person in white robes standing there. "Welcome to Heaven," the robed man said. The old man was happy and started in with his dog following him.
The gatekeeper stopped him. "Dogs aren't allowed. I'm sorry, but he can't come with you."
"What kind of Heaven won't allow dogs?" the old man said. "If he can't come in, then I will stay out with him. He's been my faithful companion all his life. I can't desert him now."
"Suit yourself," the gatekeeper said. "But I have to warn you, the Devil's on this road and he'll try to sweet talk you into his area. He'll promise you anything, but the dog can't go there either. If you won't leave the dog, you'll spend Eternity on this road."
So the old man and dog went on. They came to a rundown fence with a gap in it-no gate, just a hole. Another old man was inside. "'Scuse me, sir. My dog and I are getting mighty tired. Mind if we come in and sit in the shade for awhile?"
"Come on in," the man said. "There's some cold water under that tree over there. Make yourselves comfortable."
"You're sure my dog can come in? The man down the road said dogs weren't allowed anywhere."
"Would you come in if you had to leave the dog?"
"No sir. That's why I didn't go to Heaven. He said the dog couldn't come in. We'll be spending Eternity on this road, and a glass of cold water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now. But I won't come in if my buddy here can't come too, and that's final."
The man smiled a big smile and said, "Welcome to Heaven."
"You mean this is Heaven? Dogs are allowed? How come that fellow down the road said they weren't?"
"That was the Devil, and he gets all the people who are willing to give up a life-long companion for a comfortable place to stay. They soon find out their mistake, but then it's too late. The dogs come here, the fickle people stay there. God wouldn't allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After all, He created them to be man's companions in life. Why would he separate them in death?"
Request From Rainbow Bridge
* Author Unknown*
Weep not for me though I am gone
Into that gentle night
Grieve if you will, but not for long
Upon my soul's sweet flight.
I am at peace, my soul's at rest
There is no need for tears.
For with your love I was so blessed
For all those many years.
There is no pain, I suffer not,
The fear now all is gone.
Put now these things out of your thoughts,
In your memory I live on.
Remember not my fight for breath
Remember not the strife
Please do not dwell upon my death,
But celebrate my life.
Courtesy of Shari Brooks
by: Cynthia Rylant
When dogs go to Heaven, they don't need wings because God knows that
dogs love running best. He gives them fields. Fields and fields and
fields. When a dog first arrives in Heaven, he just runs.
Dog Heaven has clear, wide lakes filled with geese who honk and flap and tease. The dogs love this. They run beside the water and bark and bark and God watches them from behind a tree and smiles.
There are children, of course. Angel children. God knows that dogs love children more than anything else in the world, so He fills Heaven with plenty of them. There are children on bikes and children on sleds. There are children throwing red rubber balls and children pulling kites through the clouds. The dogs are there, and the children love them dearly.
And, oh, the dog biscuits. Biscuits and biscuits as far as the eye can see. God has a sense of humor, so He makes His biscuits in funny shapes for His dogs. There are kitty-cat biscuits and squirrel biscuits. Ice-cream biscuits and ham-sandwich biscuits. Every angel who passes by has a biscuit for a dog. And, of course, all God's dogs sit when the angels say "sit." Every dog becomes a good dog in Dog Heaven.
God turns clouds inside out to make fluffy beds for the dogs in Dog Heaven, and when they are tired of running and barking and eating ham-sandwich biscuits, the dogs each find a cloud bed for sleeping. They turn around and around in the cloud until it feels just right, and then they curl up and they sleep. God watches over each one of them and there are no bad dreams.
Dogs in Dog Heaven have almost always belonged to somebody on Earth and, of course, the dogs remember this. Heaven is full of memories. So sometimes an angel will walk a dog back to Earth for a little visit and quietly, invisibly, the dog will sniff about his old backyard, will investigate the cat next door, will follow the child to school, will sit on the front porch and wait for the mail. When he is satisfied that all is well, the dog will return to Heaven with the angel. It is where dogs belong, near God who made them.
The dogs in Dog Heaven who had no real homes on Earth are given one in Heaven. The homes have yards and porches and there are couches to lie on and tables to sit under while angels eat their dinners. There are special bowls with the dogs' names on them. And each dog is petted and reminded how good he is, all day long.
Dogs in Dog Heaven may stay as long as they like and this can mean forever. They will be there when old friends show up. They will be there at the door.
A Prayer for Animals
by: Albert Schweitzer
Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends
the animals, especially for animals who are suffering:
for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened
or hungry: for all that must be put to death. We entreat for
them all Thy mercy and pity, and for those who deal with them we ask
a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. Make us, ourselves,
to be true friends to animals and so to so to share the blessings of the merciful.
Contributed by: Ruth Landmann
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
Contributed by: Jacky Petrie
* Author Unknown *
One child came upon another child on the beach one day. The second child was
walking along, looking down, then every few feet would bend down, pick
something up out of the sand, and toss it into the ocean. The first child
asked what kind of game this was.
The second child replied, "I'm saving starfish."
The first child was incredulous. "Are you kidding? There are too many! What
are you going to do? Spend all day and all night out here, tossing starfish
back into the ocean? You'll never save them all. And anyway, in the grand
scheme of life, they're just starfish. It doesn't matter if they live or
The second child scooped another starfish up from the sand, considered it briefly, then hurled it into the ocean. "It mattered to that one."
WHAT IS DYING?
I am standing on the seashore.
A ship sails and spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her
'til at last, she fades on the horizon.
And someone at my side says, "She is gone."
Gone from my sight, that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars
as she was when I saw her
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not her;
and just at the moment when someone at my side says, "She is gone,"
There are others who are watching her coming
and other voices take up a glad shout
"There she comes!" and that is DYING.
DEATH is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am me and you are you, whatever we were to each other we are that still.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever a household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow in it.
Life means more than it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute unbroken continuity...
Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval somewhere, very near, just around the corner.
All is well.
By: Henry Scott Holland
Contributed by Lynne Rutenberg
I got to the gate of Heaven yesterday
after we said good-bye.
I began to miss you terribly,
because I heard you cry.
Suddenly there was an Angel and she asked me
to enter Heaven's gate.
I asked her if I could stay outside
for someone who'd be late.
I wouldn't make much noise you see,
I wouldn't bark or howl.
I'll only wait here patiently
and play with my tennis ball.
The Angel said I could stay right here
and wait for you to come
Because Heaven just wouldn't be Heaven
if I went in alone.
So I'll wait right here, you take your time,
but keep me in your heart.
Because Heaven just wouldn't be Heaven
without you to warm my heart.
Contributed by Michaelene Sullivan
Home At Last
The trees were blowing in the gentle breeze.
The sun was shining thru the leaves on the trees.
The meadows are green and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance you can see a waterfall.
Over the falls down through the creek
The water flows gently as a rabbit sneaks a peek.
Far up above in the deep blue sky
The birds soar high as they fly by.
The animals play at the bridge by the waterfall,
Chasing each other and just having a ball.
They play all day from morning to night.
There's no more rain, just warm sunlight.
Off in the distance the trumpets would blow.
All would look up and notice a bright glow.
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As another pet has come home, who had earned his wings.
Submitted by: John Quealy
Listen With Your Heart
Memories are treasures
time cannot take away.
So may we be surrounded
by happy ones today.
May all the love and tenderness
of golden days and years well spent
Come back today to fill our hearts
with beauty and content.
And may we walk down memory lane
and meet the ones we love,
For while we cannot see them,
they'll be watching from above....
So, for their sakes, be happy
and show them that their love
Has proven strong and big enough
to reach down from above.
Submitted by: Mattie Brainard
On a Good Dog
By: Ogden Nash
O my little pup ten years ago
was arrogant and spry,
Her backbone was a bended bow
for arrows in her eye.
Her step was proud, her bark was loud,
her nose was in the sky,
But she was ten years younger then,
And so, by God, was I.
Small birds on stilts along the beach
Rose up with piping cry.
And as they rose beyond her reach
I thought to see her fly.
If natural law refused her wings,
That law she would defy,
for she could do unheard of things,
And so, at times, could I.
Ten years ago she split the air
to seize what she could spy;
Tonight she bumps against a chair,
betrayed by milky eye.
She seems to pant,
Time up, time up!
My little dog must die,
And lie in dust with Hector's pup;
So, presently, must I.
A DOG'S PLEA
Treat me kindly my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hands between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.
Speak to me often, for your voice is world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when the sound of your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.
Feed me clean food so that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding; to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.
And, my beloved friend, when I am very old, and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing, and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun. Please see that my trusting life is taken gently. I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands.
-Beth Norman Harris
A Pet's Prayer to Saint Peter
I have traveled far to reach this Pearly Gate
But I do not want to wander beyond this place.
I just need to rest awhile for my friend I wait.
Please let them know I love them still.
Let them know that I understand
What they did, they did with love.
With my body gone, my spirit flew
On the wings of a dove
To my Creator's Heaven above.
Now I ask that I may wait.
I will lay quietly here by the gate.
For if I entered now without my friend,
It wouldn't be Heaven at all.
In Loving Memory
They will not go quietly, the Newfs who've shared our lives.
In subtle ways they let us know their spirit still survives.
Old habits still can make us think we hear them at the door
Or step back when we drop a tasty morsel on the floor.
Our feet still go around the place the food dish used to be.
And, sometimes, coming home at night, we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends, and a new dog dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts belongs to them...and always will.
--from Gail and Russ of Bear Trax
I Saw His Soul
A star punched a hole in the heavens tonight.
A new soul arrived.
Reborn out of its earth vessel,
Light upon light.
This soul searched for its Maker
Wisdom. Love was given.
We're taught only humans have souls.
My heart bursts with the sadness of separation.
I look up into the sky and see
A soul I know.
Crystal tears fall.
Sadness and joy flow in and around my heart and soul.
Wisdom. Love is given.
God decides in the creation of souls.
I felt his heart when we met.
I saw his soul when he died.
Creatures both are we.
A star in the heavens, light upon light, cries for me.
(c) Carmella Lorano, 1994 in honor of her dog, Harry.
"You were with me to the very end and even after I had gone" you held me, and as my soul left my body and I looked down and saw you crying, I wanted so much to tell you that I understood. You did this for me.
"I tried to tell you in my own way that it was time for me to leave, and I thank you for understanding. No other will take my place, but those I left behind will need your love and affection as I have had.
"You still think of me, and there are times when you try to hide your tear-filled eyes...but please, be happy and think not of sadness, but of how I made you happy and made you laugh at the funny and smart things that I did.
"There are no fences here, for no one has the desire to 'dig out'.
"There are no thunderstorms here, therefore no fear is ever present.
"There are no fights here. Everyone is congenial.
"There is no hunger. There is no thirst. There is much to explore.
"Many of us who are older take care of the little ones and guide them. It's fun watching them run with their ears flopping and their curly tails wagging.
"We have four seasons here...and most of us agree that winter is our favorite.
"So you see, my loved one, I am very happy....
"When it is time for my friends to leave, I will meet them at the Gates, and I will acquaint them with the beautiful and serene place, and I will take care of them for you.
"Thank you for loving me, caring for me, and having the courage to let me go with dignity."
--(adopted from) original by Jane S. Morris
Ode to the Newfoundland
by Naomi Gofberg
"They're too big"
"They shed too much"
"They drool too much"
Their size is small in comparison to the amount of love they share.
No matter how much hair they shed there is always plenty left in which to bury your face.
And the drool...well, always have that towel handy!
Don't they know, though, that it gets no better than this?
Those eyes..their hearts..so big and ever giving you love.
Their faces speak to you of kindness, of joie de vivre, of a knowledge that they have it all figured out; life is for love and laughter, for being there to comfort and caress.
They'll shed a tear for you--never for themselves
They protect and wrap themselves around you and enter the very core of your being.
They make you smile when you thought there was nothing left to smile about.
They fill you with a love that knows no boundaries.
You might not always know what they want, but they always know what you need.
They are to be treasured as they are treasures.
They are Newfoundlands.
BEAR IN MEMORY OF
OUR FIRST NEWFIE
- My Friend -
You were a friend like no one could ever ask for
Loyal until the very end.
With dignity and pride
You bore the name Newfoundland.
You never got to save my
Or protect me from harm
But should their have been need
You would have been there.
You made me happy in the worst of times
Even when it rained
You seemed to love life all the more.
And so it would seem appropriate that
It poured today.
As I dug your grave
The rain concealed the tears
Which fell from my face.
At least God took you in your sleep.
Sleep well my friend
And be a good boy.
If there is a heaven
I know you will be waiting for me
There, on the other side
Like you have always done.
I love you Bear and will miss you dearly.
by V.E. Lutsky
in memory of
ALL THE GOOD DOGS
What purpose did they serve, all the good dogs that once ran through
the world and wait now in the shadowy quiet of the past?
They lightened our burdens and drove away our enemies and stayed
when others had left us. They gave aid and comfort, protection, and
security. They held a mirror wherein we might see ourselves as we long to be.
They gave us a glimpse of the world beyond the narrow confines of
our own species.
Although we make dull students, slowly they help us learn how to
command and protect with wisdom and justice, and imagination.
They taught and still teach us the joy of giving, generosity, and
kindmess and love - without thought of gainful return.
And now - all the good dogs, goodbye, until on some brighter day, in
some fairer place you run out again to greet us.
George & Helen Papashvily
A Dog's Prayer
Bless the house I live in, Lord,
the one that I call home,
the people here who really care,
a family all my own.
Bless the little children
who snuggle me to sleep
their gentle eyes so sweet and wise
that laugh and sometimes weep.
Bless the mistress of this home,
a wife and loving mother--
she always brings me doggie bags--
to me,there is no other.
Bless the master, good and kind,
he calls me his best friend.
But, Oh, the names they give us, Lord!
"Killer," "Boom Boom." Ben"?
No one will ever know
how I stopped to catch my breath
the day they saw me at the pound,
as I faced certain death.
I love my little family.
They're all the world to me.
You'd have to be a dog to know
how lucky I am me.
A faithful dog will play with you,
and laugh with you or cry
He'll gladly starve to stay with you,
and never reason why.
And when you're feeling out of sorts,
somehow he'll understand.
He'll watch you with his shining eyes,
and try to lick your hand.
His blind, implicit faith in you
is matched by his great love
The kind that all of us should have
in the master up above.
When everything is said and done,
I guess this isn't odd,
For when you spell dog backwards,
you will get the name of God.
Though nothing can bring back
The hour of splendour in the grass,
Of glory in the flower;
We shall grieve not,
Rather find strength
In what remains behind.
THE BEAUTIFUL TRAIL
I wonder if the Lone Eyes are watching
As he follows the trail to the sky,
For the night bird now has come calling
He is gone. Here am I.
Homeward now does he journey
With a rainbow to guide his way
To the place of the white-cloud eagles
Where he'll find everlasting day.
There is beauty before him as he wanders,
There is beauty behind him, without fail,
There is beauty as he gently passes
For he is on the Beautiful Trail.
He never came to me when I would call
Unless I had a tennis ball,
Or he felt like it,
but mostly he didn't come at all.
When he was young
He never learned to heel
Or sit or stay,
He did things his way.
Discipline was not his bag
But when you were with him things sure didn't drag.
He'd dig up a rosebush just to spite me,
And when I'd grab him, he'd turn and bite me.
He bit lots of folks from day to day,
The deliver boy was his favorite prey.
The gas man wouldn't read our meter,
He said we owned a real man-eater.
He set the house on fire
But the story's long to tell.
Suffice it to say that he survived
And the house survived as well.
On the evening walks, and Gloria took him,
He was always first out the door.
The Old One and I brought up the rear
Because our bones were sore.
He would charge up the street with Mom hanging on,
What a beautiful pair they were!
And if it was still light and the tourists were out,
They created a bit of a stir.
But every once in a while, he would stop in his tracks
And with a frown on his face look around.
It was just to make sure that the Old One was there
And would follow him where he was bound.
We are early-to-bedders at our house--
I guess I'm the first to retire.
And as I'd leave the room he'd look at me
And get up from his place by the fire.
He knew where the tennis balls were upstairs,
And I'd give him one for a while.
He would push it under the bed with his nose
And I'd fish it out with a smile.
And before very long
He'd tire of the ball
And be asleep in his corner
In no time at all.
And there were nights when I'd feel him
Climb upon our bed
And lie between us,
And I'd pat his head.
And there were nights when I'd feel this stare
And I'd wake up and he'd be sitting there
And I'd reach out my hand and stroke his hair.
And sometimes I'd feel him sigh
and I think I know the reason why.
He would wake up at night
And he would have this fear
Of the dark, of life, of lots of things,
And he'd be glad to have me near.
And now he's dead.
And there are nights when I think I feel him
Climb upon our bed and lie between us,
And I pat his head.
And there are nights when I think
I feel that stare
And I reach out my hand to stroke his hair,
But he's not there.
Oh, how I wish that wasn't so,
I'll always love a dog named Beau.
A Gift for Sarah
'Please love me, don't leave me', those eyes seemed to say
When you offered a home to Sarah that day.
'My family can't keep me, I've problems galore,
I have fits, I am clumsy and lots of things more.
I can't help what I am. Please love me, don't leave me,
I'll fit in with your life, just wait and you'll see.'
So home Sarah came, your dream had come true,
A Newf for your family - the dogs welcomed her too.
Very soon it appeared that she'd settled right in,
Showed her pleasure at life with that typical grin.
Saved the kids from the drowning that threatened each night
when mom bathed them - well, to a Newf's mind they might!
A month she's been with you, or a little bit less,
Your life has now changed in ways you'd not guess.
A Newf in the house is a gift and a boon;
You'd just never have thought it would happen so soon.
But now she is sick and you're worried and sad,
You knew it might happen, but not quite this bad.
Her eyes plead for that help a dog's family can give,
'Please love me, don't leave me, I've a life I must live.
I've your family to raise, to protect and to love;
You came into my life like a gift from above.
'Please hold me and hug me, be patient and kind;
I need you, don't leave me. I'm sure you won't mind
giving me all your love in your hearts you can find'.
You silently cry when she leaves you each time,
Your heart breaks a bit more, there's no reason or rhyme.
Except she's a Newf and a special one too,
She came into your lives and your dreams all came true.
'Please love us, don't leave us, we need you' you cry.
'If it made you feel better we'd make pink pigs fly!
As it is, you don't need that, thank heaven's above.
But instead we can offer unconditional love.'
The world prays for Sarah, a Newf who's in need;
If love helps to cure her, she's lucky indeed.
We're all there for you, Sarah, to help you pull through.
And Billee, please know that you're in our thoughts too.
Liz Bradbury and the Scottish gang.
"Until we meet again....."
I will never know what I did to deserve such an awful life full of abuse
My life had become so sad and lonely it was like living in an endless,
I remember looking up one day and seeing a bright light shining at the end
of the tunnel.
The light was so bright I thought that God must have sent an angel to
finally end my suffering.
God did send an angel, he sent you.
The bright light I had seen was your smiling face.
You promised me that my days of neglect and abuse were over.
My battered body and broken spirit hardly dared to believe it was true.
You opened your heart and your home and gave me more love and comfort
and safety than I had ever known before.
You gave me the softest bed my tired, aching bones had ever felt and
more toys and attention than I had ever dreamed existed.
I no longer cringed when a hand was raised near me, because your hands
had only kindness and treats to offer me.
I no longer feared the sound of feet approaching, because your feet
had never kicked me, they had only taken me on wonderful adventures to
exciting new places.
Althought "quantity" of time can be measured in days and weeks, there
is no way to measure the the "quality" of time.
So there is no way to really measure just how deeply your love and
devotion affected my life.
But sometimes, even love & devotion and all the medical attention in the
world can't heal a body that has been battered and broken for too long.
So please do not be sad that I am gone.
You performed a miracle in what little time we had together.
You made my spirits soar and helped my soul find peace and
From the day I met you I never suffered again, not even at the end.
Just knowing that my memory would live in your heart forever gave me
the strength to let go and find my way to Rainbow Bridge.
So go forward from today with only happy memories of me in your heart, and
let them give you the strength to keep on lighting up sad, lost lives.
Remember I will live forever in your heart and in the stars up above and
my star will shine brighter with every life that's been touched by your love.
"Until we meet again....."
Lend Me a Pup
I will lend to you for awhile,
a pup, God said,
For you to love him while he lives
and mourn for him when he's dead.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years,
or maybe two or three
But will you, 'till I call him back,
take care of him for me.
He'll bring his charms to gladden you
and (should his stay be brief)
you'll always have his memories
as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
since all from earth return
But there are lessons taught below
I want this pup to learn.
I've looked the whole world over
in search of teachers true
And from the folk that crowd's life's land
I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love
Nor think the labour vain,
Nor hate me when I come to take my Pup back again.
I fancied that I heard them say
"Dear Lord Thy Will be Done,"
For all the joys this Pup will bring,
the risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness
we'll love him while we may
And for the happiness we've known forever grateful stay
But should you call him back
much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
and try to understand.
If, by our love, we've managed,
your wishes to achieve
In memory of him we loved,
to help us while we grieve,
When our faithful bundle departs this world of strife,
We'll have yet another Pup and love him all his life.