A Dog Poem About Senior Dogs In Shelters

by janie knetzer on October 13, 2011

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I love this dog poem, but no matter how many times I read it, I still cry.

dog-poem

It's a good feeling to give back.

Those that get regular updates from me via my RSS feed, or those that know me really well, understand how passionate I am about rescue dogs and how even more passionate I am about rescuing senior dogs.

I’m not positive who the author is of this dog poem, but I will gladly give credit should the author step forward:

A Dog Poem | One by One, They Pass Me By
One by One, they pass by my cage,
They say, “Too worn, too broken, too old of age.
Way past his time, he can’t run and play.”
Then they shake their heads and go on their way.

A little old man, arthritic and sore,
It seems I am not wanted anymore.
I once had a home, I once had a bed,
A place that was warm, and where I was fed.

Now my muzzle is grey, and my eyes slowly fail.
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn’t belong,
I got in their way, my attitude was wrong.

Whatever excuse they made in their head,
Cannot justify how they left me for dead.
Now I sit in this cage, where day after day,
The younger dogs get adopted away.

When I had almost come to the end of my rope,
You saw my sad face, and I finally had hope.
You saw through the grey, and the legs bent with age,
And felt I still had life beyond this cold cage.

You took me home, gave me food and a bed,
And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head.
We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low,
You love so dearly, you want me to know.

I may have lived most of my life with another,
But you outshine them with a love so much stronger.
And I promise to return all the love I can give,
To you, my dear person, as long as I live.

I may be with you for a week, or for years,
We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears.
And when the time comes that I must leave,
I know you will cry and your heart, it will grieve.

And when I arrive at the Bridge, all brand new,
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you,
And I will brag to all who will hear,
Of the person who made my last days so dear.

Author Unknown

Would you ever consider adopting an old dog? Share your comment below.


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Patty Aguirre October 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm

This poem reminds me of the shape our shar pei rescue, Kai, was in when we picked him up at Vicksburg Humane Society in January a few years ago. We were still grieving the loss of our beloved shar pei destroyed by kidney failure. In my pain, I was reluctant to foster a dog at that time. But this dog was in a desperate situation and near death.

His owner was transferred in his job, and this middle age shar pei was dropped off at the local Shelter before they opened some time around the Thanksgiving holidays. He stayed there alone on a concrete floor through the Christmas season while his prior family enjoyed their Christmas in their new home without him. I could not imagine ever moving to a place where I could not take my dogs. He was half his normal weight and nearly grieved to death when we picked him up to foster. He was starving with food in his bowl, but he would not eat according to staff. We did not expect him to live through the first night. He was bone thin and had diarrhea for a long time in spite of the Shelter’s efforts to help him. He immediately hopped in our car and eagerly ate my power bar like he was starving. It was as though he knew he was going home at last. We named him Kaili which means Triumphant Strength in Chinese. We knew he would need it to survive.

After a short time with us, he began to regain a normal appearance. Kai was a “foster failure” and spent the last 4 years of his life with us. We told him we would NEVER abandon him. He knew he was secure with us. We found him lying in the hallway after work one day with his female shar pei rescue companion by his side. He had gone ahead to the Bridge and looks like he was sleeping peacefully.

Kai brought so much joy to our lives. He was a beautiful loving dog who drew everyone to him. He healed our broken hearts and made our lives complete for those 4 years.

This is a poem I wrote for him:

Love Betrayed

Our first glimpse of your withered form
Sent shards of ice into my heart
And pierced it with your pain.
As your vacant eyes retreated in terror,
I felt your longing for release
Into His presence.

This gentle creature wasted to a shadow
Of the once Strong Soul that was
Before Love Betrayed his Trust
With this Christmas gift of scorn.

They were entrusted with your care.
How could they coldly walk away—
Duty refused—leaving you
in this sorrow stricken solitude?

Infected by Death,
Grief stricken, despondent,
You laid there trembling,
Imprisoned behind steel bars…
Bewildered at the coldness of their cruelty
In the Season of our Savior’s birth,

Though Love inflicted
the mortal wound that festers deep within—
Made vulnerable by Devotion,
It would be love that restores the forsaken Kai.

As we lead you away
From your place of torment,
Your Soul entered the sanctuary
Of our protective custody.
Your quivering stilled with my calming touch.
Find solace in my shadow.
You are Forever Home now.
Grow strong again.

In saving Kai—
My wounded Spirit found new life.
It is Kai who saves me
His Love swathes my scars
And dams the flow as it seals my heart. 

Patty Aguirre for Kaili
Copyright February 21, 2007

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admin October 23, 2011 at 8:42 pm

OH Patty, THANK YOU so much for sharing your beautiful, beautiful poem about Kai. I was in tears reading it. I would love see a large picture (not sure if your thumbnail is Kai or not) of your special boy. No matter how many I read or see; I have a hard time believing that people can do what they do with not even an ounce of remorse. Every time I read a story about a dog and despair; it’s stories like yours that pull me back up. I thank you again for sharing this with me and all of my readers. I will refer to it often. Bless you. ~Janie

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Patty Aguirre October 25, 2011 at 2:05 am

I would love to share this beautiful boy’s picture. How do I send it?

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admin October 25, 2011 at 5:27 am

Hi Patty:
So glad to hear back from you. You can submit it through my “contact me” form. Here’s the link.. I’ll put Kai’s photo with your poem o.k. :o

http://www.yourolddog.com/contact-me/

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Molly Mednikow October 24, 2011 at 8:35 pm

What a beautiful poem and it did bring a tear to my eye. My parents always rescue older dogs, and though their time together is never more than a few years, they make sure those are the greatest year’s of the dog’s life.

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admin October 24, 2011 at 11:39 pm

What wonderful parents you have Molly! Pass on a big “thank you” from me. ~Janie

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Jasper November 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm

My loyal companion is old and showing me he is ready but I am having a hard time accepting it so I wrote a poem because I don’t want to cry when I let him go:

My Secret Heart

Over a decade of life shared with you,
Sharing some secrets,that only you knew.
Now the bill is due, time has taken it’s part,
Our days left are few, my secret heart.

One lick from you with that puppy breath,
Loved you then never thought about death.
But you with your wisdom have shown me to start
Realizing I must soon say good bye, to my secret heart.

You have endured,while I searched around,
Believing a miracle cure could be found.
But no more tests, one time more to pull your chart,
And once more I’ll bring you home, my secret heart.

I don’t know life without you anymore,
If you gone how will I be able to walk in the door?
Sadness and pain will be a sharp dart,
Because what is life without my secret heart?
Author: Jasper

I know it is dramatic but I lost my father earlier this year after a long illness, but my dog never noticed if my hair was knotted from sleeping in a hospital chair, or that my socks didn’t match or I had on clothes that didn’t match, he didn’t care if my mascara was running, he licked my tears. I just don’t want to let him go, he is so polite, and he would tell on our other dog. When his brother was doing something Luly would run to me and look at me then look at where our other dog was and I knew to go check. When he was a younger I used to keep him occupied by putting a band aid on my heel, Luly would think it was a boo-boo and lick it until it loosened then he would gently pull the band aid off with his front teeth to fix the boo-boo himself. Well if anyone reads this thanks. Our furry family members know us better than anyone.

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admin November 1, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Hi Jasper:
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful dog poem about your Luly. I didn’t find it dramatic at all. I found it very “real” and very touching. I’ve been where you are and I know your pain. I’m so sorry about the loss of your father and for what awaits you. I wish there were words that could make you feel better, but we both know that there aren’t, but I will be thinking of you and your beloved friend and we’re here if you need us.

Janie – Admin

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Edith November 2, 2011 at 1:22 am

Your poem is beautiful.
I share the sadness and pain you are facing
Your poem touched my heart and I truly understand.
My life seems so empty by the sudden death of my beautiful Ivan an active corgi of 11 (without a warning on October 14) and yet I must move on to give his older corgi brother the love that he needs right now, as he is grieving too.
Our furry friends will be forever in our hearts and hopefully eventually we can smile again and remember our happy time together.

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Jeanie D July 9, 2012 at 3:39 am

Thank you.

This poem, site and your work for senior dogs is truly a blessing; I’m teary. I cried reading of other parents who loved their fur babies and showed it through their poems. Thank you all for sharing & so very sorry for your losses. Our Corgi mix girrrl is now 9 and had MCT cancer/surgery this past year but thankfully she’s holding her own and doing well.

Give all your beloved ones an extra scratch and goodie for us. ALL those that crossed over remain forever in our hearts and those who knew them. Senior dogs have “Experience” and so much love to give. It is our duty to care for them and when the time comes to help them on their way however painful it is for us to do.

So sad many do not have that.:(( Thanks for caring and sharing. xo

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admin July 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Hi Jeannie:
Thank you and I’m so glad that you enjoyed our poem page and our website. I hope your old girl continues to do well. Be sure to bookmark us ok. We’re all about helping you to help your old dog stay healthy and increase longevity.

Have a wonderful day.
Janie

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maricel August 19, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Hi Admin, I am working on my next aticle for a local magazine in my country, my topic is about “a tribute to senior dogs and their great owners”, I would like to start it with a poem and I like your first poem but unfortunate we don’t know who the author is. can I copy some of it and used it in my article, I will just acknowledge your site.. thanks

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http://maria-cecilia.hubpages.com/ August 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I realized I am having problem with my yahoo account so in this second message I am using my gmail account thank you…

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admin August 21, 2012 at 4:09 am

Hi Maria:
Someone shared that poem with me awhile back, but didn’t know who the author was. I’ve looked on my own to try and find the author, but to no avail. It’s a beautiful poem and so perfect for our website. Please share in your magazine for others.

Janie :o

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