The best dog we ever had arrived at our house when he was only two…we named him Whitman (after a bakery)…turns out…he liked donuts too.


Whitman died a long time ago…from a cancer he couldn’t survive…but an old movie I saw yesterday brought his memory alive.


Reminding me of all he taught us…all the blessings he endowed…I’m not sure I ever thanked him when he was alive…so Whitman I‘d like to thank you now.


Thank you for teaching me how to be gentle…you certainly had the knack…all those time you stretched out on the floor and let the grandkids climb upon your back.


Thank you for teaching me about patience and loyalty…like I’d never been taught before…for all those times I’d return home and you’d be waiting by the door.


Thank you for teaching me about friendship…how friends don’t always need to talk…thanks for showing me how to listen on our early morning walks.


Thanks for teaching me about giving…for all those times you found your way to me…when you sensed I was sad or upset and you put your head upon my knee.


As we both grew a little older…thanks for teaching me it’s okay…

to find a warm spot in the sun…and take a nap in the middle of the day


And as the cancer overtook you…and your body couldn’t keep pace…you taught me how to deal with pain…with dignity and grace.


The final thing you taught me…as it came your time to die

was that the deeper you love someone in life…the harder it is to say goodbye.


An even when your journey together is short…once you form that partnership

no matter how hard it is to say goodbye…it is totally worth the trip


So let me take a moment Whitman…as I feel your spirit hovering above…

To thank you for helping educate me about life…

and teaching me about love…




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Thank you for introducing us

Thank you for introducing us to Whitman.  This great poetic tribute to your loyal friend will be one of the centerpieces of your work.  I take it as a miracle that God has entrusted dogs to teach human beings the nuances that make life more than mere existence---Whitman, and Monica, the spaniel of my adolescence, and Zoey, the chihuahua of my old age; and all the others whose names I do not know.  We know that, in the dawn of time, two naked people in a beautiful garden listened to a snake; they would have done better to learn from the resident dog(s).  I am so thankful that the Scriptures promise a renewal and restoration of the Creation that God called good (and that we have subsequently ruined on its edges); not a replacement but a renewal, such that Whitman, and Monica, and Zoey, and all of their peers, will be with us again, never to be separated, and that will carry the stamp of Forever.  I thank you for posting this poem, for introducing us to Whitman and sharing your memories of his companionship, and for reminding us that our pets are Godgiven resources for happiness and spiritual expansion.


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