Tuesday, October 28, 2008

If a Dog be Well Remembered

Riley
March 9, 1999 - October 25, 2008




We are thinking now of a dog, whose coat was flame in the sunshine and who, so far as we are aware, never entertained a mean or an unworthy thought. This dog is buried beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of garden loam, and at its proper season the cherry strews petals on the lawn of her grave. Beneath a cherry tree or an apple or any flowering shrub of the garden is an excellent place to bury a good dog. Beneath such trees, such shrubs, she slept in the drowsy summer or gnawed at a flavorous bone or lifted head to challenge some strange intruder. These are good places, in life or in death.

Yet it is small matter. For if a dog be well remembered, if sometimes she leaps through your dreams actual as in life, eyes kindling, laughing, begging, it matters not at all where the dog sleeps. On a hill where the wind is unrebuked and the trees roaring, or beside a stream she knew in puppyhood, or somewhere in the flatness of a pastureland where most exhilarating cattle graze. It is all one to the dog, and all one to you, and nothing is gained and nothing is lost -- if memory lives.

But there is one best place to bury a dog. If you bury her in this spot, she will come to you when you call -- come to you over the grim, dim frontiers 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 her, nor resent her coming, for she belongs there. People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent by her 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 knowing.

The one best place to bury a dog is in the heart of her master.

(written by Ben Hur Lampman & published in the Sept. 11, 1925 issue of the Portland Oregonian)

6 comments:

Jayme said...

Never did one writ' better! My eyes tear with yours. What a great dog. I am so sorry for your loss.

UncleGrandpa said...

I too tear at the wonderful words you have used to express your love for your dog...

Thank you for letting a stranger a small look into such a tender moment.

Cory and Beth said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss :( What a terrible thing it is to lose a beloved pet!

Christine said...

So beautifully expressed....it reminds me of my own sweet old friend buried close-by.
Riley was a wonderful dog; patient, gentle, and faithful friend.
I'm so sorry for your loss.

Kristine said...

I'm so sorry for your family's loss. A pet definitely becomes a member of the family. Looking forward to this weekend.

Love ya,
Kristine

jodyfoznot said...

Jeny, I'm so sorry. Our pets are such an important part of our families, adding a joy, a piece of heaven. How hard for you to have to grieve and then still be a comfort to your children who are missing their dog.

Your tribute to Riley was beautiful.

Love you, dearest.