Those Hard Good-byes
I explained to St. Peter,
I’d rather stay here,
Outside the pearly gate.
I won’t be a nuisance,
I won’t even bark,
I’ll be very patient and wait,
I’ll be here chewing on a celestial bone.
No matter how long you may be.
I’d miss you so much, if I went in alone,
It wouldn’t be Heaven for me.
MAKING THAT FINAL DECISION TO SAY GOODBYE
You’re giving me a special gift,
So sorrowfully endowed,
And through these last few cherished days,
Your courage makes me proud.
But really, love is knowing
When your best friend is in pain,
And understanding earthly acts
Will only be in vain.
So looking deep into your eyes,
Beyond, into your soul,
I see in you the magic, that will
Once more make me whole.
The strength that you possess,
Is why I look to you today,
To do this thing that must be done,
For it’s the only way.
That strength is why I’ve followed you,
And chose you as my friend,
And why I’ve loved you all these years…
My partner till the end.
Please, understand just what this gift
You’re giving, means to me,
It gives me back the strength I’ve lost,
And all my dignity.
You take a stand on my behalf,
For that is what friends do.
And know that what you do is right,
For I believe it too.
So one last time, I breathe your scent,
And through your hand I feel,
The courage that’s within you,
To now grant me this appeal.
Cut the leash that holds me here,
Dear friend, and let me run,
Once more a strong and steady dog,
My pain and struggle done.
And don’t despair my passing,
For I won’t be far away,
Forever here, within your heart,
And memory I’ll stay.
I’ll be there watching over you,
Your ever faithful friend,
And in your memories I’ll run,
… a young dog once again.
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.
from Jane in England, after the recent loss of her beloved German Shepherd, Tessa
Remember me always, but do not grieve for me too long.
In my life I have tried to be a comfort to you in difficult times
and a reason for added joy and happiness in the good times.
Know that I am in a place where one is forever young,
where there will always be someone to throw a ball for me,
where there is no more pain and no more fear,
and there is always time to remember the love of one’s Master.
So walk gently my Master, and I will be there with you always.
You will see me when the sun glistens on my back
as I run through the grass before you.
Feel certain, my dear Master, that I will always be with you.
That is my destiny I so gladly fulfill.
And you in turn provided me with all my needs,
and with an affection that transcends mortal feelings
and becomes a love born of devotion to one’s soul and spirit.
When your time has come to join me, I will be waiting to greet you
and to forever guide you through the endless fields
with an infinite love and passion for our external bond.
One last word of farewell, dear Master.
Know that no matter how deep my sleep,
I shall hear you call my name
and not all the power of death
can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail.
A PET’S PRAYER TO ST. PETER
by John Quealy
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.
DO I GO HOME TODAY?
by Sandi Thompson, Sirius Puppy Training, 1991
My family brought me home cradled in their arms.
They cuddled me and smiled at me, and said I was full of charm.
They played with me and laughed with me they showered me with toys.
I sure do love my family especially the girls and boys.
The children loved to feed me, they gave me special treats.
They even let me sleep with them– all snuggled in the sheets.
I used to go for walks, often several times a day.
They even fought to hold the leash, I’m very proud to say.
They used to laugh and praise me, when I played with that old shoe.
But I didn’t know the difference between the old ones and the new.
The kids and I would grab a rag, for hours we would tug.
So I thought I did the right thing when I chewed the bedroom rug.
They said that I was out of control, and would have to live outside.
This I did not understand, although I tried and tried.
The walks stopped, one by one; they said they hadn’t time.
I wish that I could change things, I wish I knew my crime.
My life became so lonely, in the backyard, on a chain.
I barked and barked all day long, to keep from going insane.
So they brought me to the shelter, but were embarrassed to say why.
They said I caused an allergy, and then kissed me goodbye.
If I’d only had some classes, as a little pup.
I wouldn’t have been so hard to handle when I was all grown up.
“You only have one day left,” I heard the worker say.
Does this mean a second chance? Do I go home today?
As I see the Gates of Heaven
And I know I’m headed home
I see the great St. Peter
But, alas, he’s not alone.
The tears have blurred my vision
But I’d know her anywhere
She sits and waits so patiently
She knows I’ll soon be there.
I drop to my knees and call her name
She responds with bounding glee
She whines and she cries
The joy is in her eyes
She’s waited so patiently.
I know it’s truly Heaven
For that it’s plain to see
My faithful friend and companion
Is once again with me.
I AM FAMOUS NOW
I was born today. One of 10. My daddy was very famous. I have lots of half brothers and sisters. My mother is very famous. Since she got famous, she has only had puppies. No more loving hands, no more fun trips just puppies. She is always sad when they leave her. I left home today. I didn’t want to go, so I hid behind my mama and my three littermates that were left. I didn’t like You. But one day, they said, I would be famous. I wonder, is famous the same as fun and good times? So You picked me up and carried me away, even though you were concerned about me hiding from You. I don’t think You liked me. My new home is far away. I am scared and afraid. My heart says: BE BRAVE. My ancestors were. Did they go to good homes like mine?
I’m hungry because I can’t eat too much, because it will be bad for my bones. I can’t bite or snap when the children are mean to me. I just run and play and pretend that I’m in a big green field with butterflies and robins and frogs. I can’t understand why they kick me. I am quiet, but the man hits and says loud things. The lady doesn’t feed me good things like I had with my mother. She just throws dry food on the ground, then goes away before I can get too close for touching and petting. Sometimes my food smells bad, but I eat it anyway.
Today I had 10 puppies. They are so wonderful and warm. Am I famous now? I wish I could play with them, but they are so tiny. I am so young and playful that it’s hard to lay here in this hole under the house nursing my puppies. They are crying now. I am so hungry I scratch and worry my fur. I wish somebody would throw me some food. I am also very thirsty. Two got cold during the night and I couldn’t make them warm again. They are gone. We all are very weak. Maybe if I take them out on the porch, we can get some food.
Today they took us away. It was too much trouble to feed us, and someone came to take us away. Someone grabbed my puppies, they were crying and whimpering. We were put an a truck with boxes in it. Are my babies famous now? I hope so, because I miss them. They are gone.
The place smelled of urine, fear and sickness. Why was I here? I was beautiful, like my ancestors. Now I am hungry, dirty, in pain and unwanted. No one came though I tried to be good.
Today someone came. They put a rope on my neck, and led me to a room
that was very clean and had a shiny table. They put me on the table. Someone held me and hugged me. It felt so good! Then I felt tired and lay over the last one who cared.
I am famous now. Today someone cared!
Please, God, if You should hear a scratch on Eden’s Gate tonight,
A gentle whine, a muffled bark; have Peter take a light
And open up the Pearly Gates and call her Spirit in,
For I think she lived in Heaven once; please take her back again.
She may have been a mongrel, without a pedigree,
Yet she was noble, kind and good; I think You will agree
That she’ll be very useful where the souls of children play.
She’ll romp with them, and see, Dear God, they do not go astray.
Just tell her that we’re sorry that we could not pat her head,
And whisper how we loved here ‘ere her Spirit fled.
I pray that when death beckons, and my soul surmounts life’s fog,
I’ll rate a place in Heaven, Dear God, beside our dog…
THE ETERNAL WHISTLER
It is the Eternal Whistler
Who goes whistling through the sky;
And at his heels run the weary dogs
Who have come to him to die.
He whistles them over the far-off clouds
And up to the shining gate,
And then he whistles a different tune,
And they sit, and they pant, and they wait.
Then he whistles a sudden, piercing note,
And s-l-o-w-l-y the gate swings wide,
And when nobody’s looking… Saint Peter winks…
And hustles them all inside.
When the old dog had to die after long years full with love and honor,
When the weight of time grew wearying and she was content to have it finished,
I brought my old dog to our friend.
Old dog lay soft against me, old eyes already closed, waiting.
Our friend’s hand was gentle on the weary body, with its ragged fur
So gentle to find the frail small vein where death could enter.
Difficult, old blood runs sluggish, old veins slackly resisting.
So patient, our friend, his knowing hands, all I can see through silent tears
I watch capable strong hands lightly coaxing, and at last a small red
Flower blooms briefly in the crystal before he eases the plunger in.
Old dog only sighs very softly.
The weary heart slows and stops as the joyful spirit leaps free.
We wait a quiet minute, my tears dropping unheeded, into the soft fur.
Our friend withdraws, his gentle hands leaving old dog’s cast-off body.
My head bowed over the weathered white mask for a moment
before I let her lie by herself and draw the blanket over her.
I wish the old dog had made it easier for him.
To bring even a kindly death brings sadness.
He asked how many years she had, and I heard more than that in his voice.
I wish I could thank him for keeping zest in her years,
for making a good end of them,
for his capable hands, for his gentle word and caring heart.
I took the old dog home, and laid her as if sleeping, wrapped in her worn
blanket and sheltered deep in the kindly earth.
This as a way of saying thanks to the many compassionate Veterinarians
who care for pets with their hearts as well as their skill.
NO MORE TEARS
by John Quealy
The time has come for the tears to end
for you to be happy and cheerful again.
I am safe in God’s home above
cradled in His arms; covered with His love.
We run and play by the Bridge all day
waiting for the day when you’ll be here to stay.
You’ve been crying so much I feel bad
I want you to be happy and not so sad.
Remember the time when I was so small
I couldn’t even pickup the rubber ball.
I fought that ball from morning to night
it made you laugh, I was quite a sight.
Remember teaching me sit and stay
we had such fun since I didn’t really obey.
but you kept at it with test after test
so when I entered my first show I was the best.
Remember the great times we had in the past
like when we walked to the park we had a blast.
We’d run and play all through the park
until the sun went down and it got dark.
Remember the times we went for a ride
I was so excited I’d jump right inside.
Away we went to who knows where
but you and I we didn’t really care.
I’ll always love you, you’re my best friend
I’ll be right with you even to the end.
Always remember the great times we had
and there will be no reason to ever be sad.
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,
What is to come can hold no fears
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 ’til 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.
THE LITTLE DOG ANGEL
High up in the courts of heaven today
A little dog angel waits;
With the other angels he will not play,
But he sits alone at the gates.
For I know my master will come, says he,
And when he comes he will call for me.
The other angels pass him by
As they hurry towards the throne,
And he watches them with a wistful eye
As he sits at the gates alone.
But I know if I just wait patiently
That someday my master will call for me.
And his master, down on the earth below,
As he sits in his easy chair,
Forgets sometimes, and whispers low
To the dog, who is not there.
And the little dog angel cocks his ears,
And dreams that his master’s voice he hears.
And when at last his master waits
Outside in the dark and cold,
For the hand of death to open the door,
That leads to those courts of gold,
He will hear a sound through the gathering dark,
A little dog angel’s bark.
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.