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Poems in Praise
of Dogs




MEMORIES

"Not the least hard thing to bear when
they go from us, these quiet friends,
is that they carry away with them so
many years of our lives. Yet, if they
find warmth therein, who would
begrudge them those years that they
have so guarded?
And whatever they take,
be sure they have deserved."

--- John Galsworthy ---


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THE BEST PLACE TO BURY A DOG

"There is one best place to bury a dog.
"If you bury him in this spot, he will
come to you when you call - come to you
over the grim, dim frontier of death,
and down the well-remembered path,
and to your side again.

"And though you call a dozen living
dogs to heel, they shall not growl at
him, nor resent his coming,
for he belongs there.

"People may scoff at you, who see
no lightest blade of grass bent by his
footfall, who hear no whimper, people
who may never really have had a dog.
Smile at them, for you shall know
something that is hidden from them,
and which is well worth the knowing.

"The one best place to bury a good
dog is in the heart of his master."

--- Ben Hur Lampman ---
from the Portland Oregonian Sept. 11, 1925
[AKA "If A Dog Be Well Remembered"]
[AKA "Where TO Bury A Dog"]

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HEAVEN'S DOGGY-DOOR

My best friend closed his eyes last night,
As his head was in my hand.
The Doctors said he was in pain,
And it was hard for him to stand.

The thoughts that scurried through my head,
As I cradled him in my arms.
Were of his younger, puppy years,
And OH...his many charms.

Today, there was no gentle nudge
With an intense "I love you gaze",
Only a heart thats filled with tears
Remembering our joy filled days.

But an Angel just appeared to me,
And he said, "You should cry no more,
GOD also loves our canine friends,
HE's installed a 'doggy-door"!

--- Jan Cooper --- 1995

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ONE MAN'S SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO A DOG

The one absolutely unselfish friend that
a man can have in this selfish world,
the one that never deserts him,
the one that never proves ungrateful
or treacherous, is his dog.

A man's dog stands by him in prosperity
and in poverty,
in health and in sickness.
He will sleep on the cold ground where
the wintery winds blow,
and the snow drives fiercely,
if only he may be near his master's side.
He will kiss the hand that has no
food to offer, he will lick the sores
and wounds that come in encounter
with the roughness of the world.
He guards the sleep of his Pauper master
as if he were a prince.

When all other friends desert,
he remains.
When riches take wings and reputation
falls to pieces, he is as constant in
his love as the sun in it's journey
through the heavens.
If misfortune drives the master forth
an outcast in the world, friendless
and homeless, the faithful dog asks
no higher privilege than that of
accompanying him to guard against
danger, to fight against his enemies.

And when the last scene of all comes,
and death takes the master in it's
embrace, and his body is laid away in
the cold ground, no matter if all other
friends pursue their way, there by the
graveside will the noble dog be found,
his head between his paws, his eyes sad,
but open in alert watchfulness,
faithful and true, even in death.


-From a speech given by
Former Senator George Graham Vest
of Missouri. Delivered in 1870 when he
was acting as a lawyer in a suit against
a man who had killed the dog of his
client. -- He won the case.


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FOUR FEET

I have done mostly what men do,
And pushed it out of my mind;
But I can't forget, if I wanted to,
Four-Feet trotting behind.

Day after day, the whole day through--
Wherever my road inclined--
Four-Feet said, 'I am coming with you!'
And trotted along behind.

Now I must go by some other round--
Which I shall never find--
Some where that does not carry the sound
Of Four-Feet trotting behind.


--- Rudyard Kipling ---

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TREAT ME KINDLY

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 hand
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
the world's sweetest music, as you must
know by the fierce wagging of my tail
when your footsteps fall upon my ears.

Please take me inside when it is cold
and wet, For I am a domesticated
animal, no longer accustomed to the
bitter elements. I ask no greater glory
than the privilege of sitting at your
feet beside the hearth.

Keep my pan filled with water, for I
cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.
Feed me clean food 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 friend, when I am very old, and
I no longer enjoy good health, hearing
and good sight, do not make heroic
efforts to keep me going.

I am not having fun. Please see that my
trusting life is taken gently. I shall
leave this earth knowing with the last
breath I drew, that my fate was always
safest in your hand.


--- By Beth Norman Harris 1968 ---

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OLD DOG IN A LOCKET

Old dog in a locket That lies next to my heart
I will always love you As I did right from the start

You were right beside me Through the darkest of my days
It was your kind and gentle nature That made me want to stay

Now I hold you in my arms Your breath still warm against my hand
Our hearts still beat together And I wonder if you understand

Through the hours that I held you Before the light did leave your soul
I knew a way to keep you Forever in my hold

I snipped the hair from around your eyes So I would always see
The beauty that surrounds me Even in times of need

I snipped the hair from around your ears So I would always hear
Music in the distance To quiet any fears

I snipped the hair from across your back
To bring me strength in time of need
And the power of your essence Would always be with me

I snipped the hair from around your heart That beat in time with mine
So I would know that love would find me At some distant time

And so, your life slipped out of mine On a quiet spring like day
But I knew that a part of you Old dog in a locket
That lays next to my heart I will always love you
Even though we had to part

--- Author unknown ---


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EPITAPH TO A DOG

Near this spot Are deposited the Remains
Of one Who Possessed Beauty
Without Vanity,Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man
Without his Vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning
flattery If inscribed over Human Ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the
Memory of "Boatswain," a Dog
Who was born at Newfoundland,
May, 1803,
And died at Newstead Abbey
Nov. 18, 1808.


--- Lord Byron ---

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MONUMENT TO A DOG

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 labors, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonored 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,
Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy 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 honors none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend's remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one-and here he lies.

--- Lord Byron ---
Inscription on the monument of his
Newfoundland dog, 1808




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IF IT SHOULD BE

If it should be that I grow weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle cannot be won.

You will be sad, I understand.
Don't let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day, more than all the rest,
Your love for me must stand the test.

We've had so many happy years.
What is to come can hold no fears.
You'd not want me to suffer so;
The time has come -- please let me go.

Take me where my need they'll tend,
And please stay with me till the end.
Hold me firm and speak to me,
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time that you will see
The kindness that you did for me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I've been saved.

Please do not grieve -- it must be you
Who had this painful thing to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years;
Don't let your heart hold back its tears.

--- Anonymous ---


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SEPARATE LIFETIMES

We who choose to surround ourselves
with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan....

--- Irving Townsend ---
"The Once Again Prince"

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JUST MY DOG

He is my other eyes that can see above
the clouds; my other ears that hear above
the winds. He is the part of me that can
reach out into the sea.

He has told me a thousand times over that
I am his reason for being: by the way he
rests against my leg; by the way he thumps
his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he
shows his hurt when I leave without taking him.
(I think it makes him sick with worry when he
is not along to care for me.)

When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.
When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile.
When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.
When I am a fool, he ignores it.
When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am only another man. With him,
I am all-powerful.
He is loyalty itself.
He has taught me the meaning of devotion.
With him, I know a secret comfort and a
private peace. He has brought me understanding
where before I was ignorant.
His head on my knee can heal my human hurts.
His presence by my side is protection against
my fears of dark and unknown things.
He has promised to wait for me...
henever...wherever--in case I need him.
And I expect I will-as I always have.


He is just my dog.
--- Gene Hill ---


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ROOM IN YOUR HEART

Sorrow fills a barren space;
you close your eyes and see my face
and think of times I made you laugh,
the love we shared, the bond we had,
the special way I needed you -
the friendship shared by just we two.

The day's too quiet, the world seems older,
the wind blows now a little colder.
You gaze into the empty air
and look for me, but I'm not there -
I'm in heaven and I watch you,
and I see the world around you too.

I see little souls wearing fur,
souls who bark and souls who purr
born unwanted and unloved -
I see all this and more above -
I watch them suffer, I see them cry,
I see them lost, I watch them die.
I see unwanted thousands born -
and when they die, nobody mourns.

These little souls wearing fur
(Some who bark and some who purr)
are castaways who - unlike me -
will never know love or security.
A few short months they starve and roam,
Or caged in shelters - nobody takes home.
They're special too (furballs of pleasure),
filled with love and each one, a treasure.

My pain and suffering came to an end,
so don't cry for me, my person, my friend.
But think of the living -
those souls with fur
(some who bark and some who purr) -
And though our bond can't be broken apart,
make room for another in your home and
your heart.


--- Pascal ---

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THE DOGS WHO HAVE SHARED OUR LIVES

The dogs who've shared our lives.
In subtle ways they let us know
their spirit still survives.
Old habits still make us think
we hear a barking 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, sometime, coming home at night,
we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends
and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts
belongs to them...
And always will.


---Linda Barnes ---

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A DOG:

"Tis pity not to have a dog, for at the
long day's end, The man or boy will
know the joy, Of welcome from a friend.
And whether he be rich or poor, Or much
of little bring, The dog will mark his
step and bark, As if he were a King.
Though gossips whisper now and then,
Of faults they plainly see, And some
may sneer, from year to year, My dog
stays true to me. He's glad to follow
where I go, And though I win or fail,
His love for me he'll let me see, By
wagging his tail. Now if I were to list
the friends Of mine in smiles and tears,
ho through and through are staunch and true,
And constant down the years,
In spite of all my many faults,
Which critics catalog, Deserving blame,
I'd have to name My ever-faithful dog.
"Tis pity not to have a dog, Whatever be
his breed, for Dogs possess a faithfulness,
Which humans sadly need. And whether
sky's be blue or gray, Good luck or ill
Attend, Man's toil by day, a dog will stay,
His ever-constant friend.......


--- Egdgar A. Guest ---

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A STUMP FOR A TAIL

You can't buy loyalty, they say
I bought it though, the other day;
You can't buy friendship, tried and true,
Well just the same, I bought that too.
I made my bid, and on the spot
Bought love and faith and a whole job lot
Of happiness, so all in all
The purchase price was pretty small.
I bought a single trusting heart,
That gave devotion from the start.
If you think these things are not for sale,
Buy a brown-eyed puppy with
a stump for a tail.



--- author unknown ---

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RILEY

I thought about you earlier today but I didn't understand why.
I see your face when I look at her and every time I cry.

I often find my self, calling her your name.
And I wish it were you every time we play a game.

You’v helped my through some rough times,
Lord, knows you were always there.
I used to think you look so smart,
the way you’d sit and stare.

You’d always lend a thoughtful ear,
a problem you’d never miss.
And I miss the way, on my cheek you’d lay
a little doggy kiss.

I know you’re gone for good now,
though it is hard for me to see.
That you won’t come when I call your name,
it will always be just me.

I know you didn’t leave me empty handed,
you left me a part of you.
And, I will always remember how much you loved me,
and the thoughtful things you’d do.

It is hard for me  to realize no more cookies you will Mooch.
And, it is hard for me to say goodbye, so rest is peace, my pooch.


--- Carly Dinwiddie ---

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A PRAYER FOR ANIMALS

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 share the blessings of the merciful.


--- Albert Schweitzer ---

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I ONLY WANTED YOU

They say memories are golden
well maybe that is true
I never wanted memories,
I only wanted you.

A million times I needed you,
a million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you
you never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place
no one could ever fill.

If tears could build a stairway
and heartache make a lane,
I'd walk the path to heaven
and bring you back again.

Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again.

--- Anonymous ---

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SPECIAL SEVEN


We knew we were Special,
Right from the start.
You loved us so dearly,
Deep down in your heart.

Our leaving has hurt you, but try not to cry,
One fine day, we’ll meet in the sky.
Kendal was waiting, so healthy and strong,
She was delighted, she’d waited so long.

We’re all very happy, we miss you we do,
Us Seven together we’ll all start anew.
Remember we Love you, just look to a star,
We’re sometimes close by you, we’ll never be far.

Our wings they are glistening,
In the bright golden sun.
We’re Gods Special Angels,
We are second to none!

--- Irene Linden ---



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DON'T CRY FOR ME WHEN I'M GONE

Three score and ten are given to man,
But ours is a much briefer span.
So, though I give you all my heart,
The time will come when we must part.
But all around you, you will see,
Creatures that speak to you of me;
A tired horse, a hunted thing,
A sparrow with a broken wing ...
Pity - and help (I know you will)
And somehow, I will be with you still;
And I shall know, although I'm gone,
The love I gave you lingers on.

--- (Author unknown) ---


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A DOG'S PRAYER

Treat me kindly, my beloved master,
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 although I should lick your hand between blows,
your patience and understanding will more quickly teach
me the things you would have be do.

Speak to me often,
for your voice is world’s sweetest music, as you must know,
by the fierce wagging of my tail when your
footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside,
for I am now a domesticated animal,
no longer used to bitter elements.
And I ask no greater glory than the privilege
of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home,
I would rather follow you through ice and snow
than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in the land,
for you are my god and I am your devoted worshipper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water,
for although I should not reproach you  were it dry,
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 beloved master, should the Great Master
see fit to deprive me of my health or sight,
do not turn me away from you. Rather,
hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands
grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest...
And I will leave you knowing with the last
breath I draw, my fate was every safest
in your hands.

--- Beth Norman Harris ---

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NO CHARGE FOR LOVE

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell.
He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups.
And set about nailing it to a post on the
edge of his yard. As he was driving the
last nail into the post,he felt a tug on
his overalls. He looked down into the
eyes of a little boy. "Mister," he said,
"I want to buy one of your puppies."
"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the
sweat of the back of! his neck,
"These puppies come from fine parents and
cost a good deal of money."
The boy dropped his head for a moment.
Then reaching deep into his pocket,
he pulled out a handful of change and held
it up to the farmer. "I've got thirty-nine
cents. Is that enough to take a look?"
"Sure," said the farmer, and with that he
let out a whistle. Here, Dolly!" he called.
Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran
Dolly followed by four little balls of fur.
The little boy pressed his face against the
chain link fence. His eyes danced with
delight. As the dogs made their way to the
fence,the little boy noticed something else
stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another
little ball appeared, this one noticeably
smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a
somewhat awkward manner, the little pup
began hobbling toward the others,doing its
best to catch up.... "I want that one,"
the little boy said, pointing to the runt.
The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and
said, "Son, you don't want that puppy.
He will never be able to run and play with
you like these other dogs would. " With that
the little boy stepped back from the fence,
reached down, and began rolling up one leg
of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a
steel brace running down both sides
of his leg attaching itself to a specially
made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer,
he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well
myself, and he will need someone who
understands. " With tears in his eyes,
the farmer reached down and picked
up the little pup. Holding it carefully
he handed it to the little boy.
"How much?" asked the little boy.
"No charge," answered the farmer,
"There's no charge for love."


--- Author Unknown ---
beautiful wilsong border collies
This page contains some of my favorite poems, stories & tributes to
dogs. I have collected them over the years. Some are from famous
people, others are just from fellow dog lovers, like you and me. I do not
have a Rainbow Bridge Page. I have always dreaded the task of
composing one. You will find my pets from my past all over my site. And
for now, this page will serve as my Tribute to them.
Judy
Wilsong Email Border Collie
WILSONG BORDER COLLIES  WWW.WILSONGBORDERCOLLIES.COM
ROBERT, LOUISIANA USA PHONE 985 542 2039
EMAIL
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border collie puppies for sale