Old Dog Prepares to Die.

Very Sappy post but this has been on my mind for the last few weeks.

We have had dogs all of our lives. They have always been a part of our family. Our oldest boy, Chip, is now twelve years old. He still runs, all be it now on three good legs and one bad one. He lost his eye to a tumour earlier this year but he is still with us. He still has plenty of wag in his old tail and he still keeps the younger dogs in order. We adopted Chip when Adam was four years old and Chip was just short of a year old. He has always been Adams dog.

I have had old dogs before and each one of them has thought me something precious about dying with dignity. Animals in general, but particularly dogs seem to sense when their time has come. They rely on us, their human family to help them this one final time. On those occasions when I have been there, I have always felt both love and forgiveness from the friend who’s life was ending. I have always felt that they understood and were thankful for this last kindness we could bestow. When Chip’s time comes I hope I will be a good enough friend to ensure he leaves the world pain free and with dignity. And I hope he waits for his family to be with him before he crosses the Rainbow Bridge.


And old dog prepares to die.

Wet nose juts out and sniffs the chill, damp air

Then he turns about twice on the broken wicker chair

And settles down, happy to sleep again

Safely away from the wind and rain


Just an old dog now, who sits and waits

On the front porch or by the yard gates

With beating tail still. And a faithful heart

Waits for the grown boy, of who he is a part.


He dreams now of  five thousand days gone by

Of sunny, summer mornings, warm and dry

And morning soaked, wet with autumn dew

And cold snow and frost in winter too


Early memories of sprinting through long grass

Playfully snatching at each thing they pass

Soaked through and alive, full of joy

Dashing and bright eyed. Both pup and boy


He remembers then, tracks across kitchen tiles

As he crept in with downcast mournful eyes

His head in shame held low to the ground

Such a sad and sorry wet young hound


But his boy never cursed him with harsh rebuff

Instead, treated him with care and love

And forged a bond as yet unbroken

An alliance full of words unspoken


He closes his eyes then and breathes a sigh

Just a worn out old dog ready to die

But he will wait ‘til his man is by his bed

To say goodbye and softly stroke his head


© Dave Kavanagh @ daithiocaomanaigh.com

3 thoughts on “Old Dog Prepares to Die.

  1. The timing of this post is uncanny. We just put our 13-year-old precious doggie down yesterday. He had cancer that had spread and finally made its way to his brain. We wanted to hold on and hold out but that wouldn’t have been fair to him as he was starting to feel pain and have seizures. I think his time was short either way and I think he knew. We held him so much in the week before and he was in my arms when they gave the first shot to make him sleep. My husband fears that our dog feels alone and afraid right now, until we get back his ashes. I try to think that his spirit is somewhere else with other peaceful souls. I am going to have my husband read this post. Thank you for posting this and I my heart and thoughts are with you. HUGS!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So sorry to hear about your beloved pet Sarah. I always think that if they have lived a good, useful and well loved life, that it is a great consilation for us. Thinking about you xx


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