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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A young dog met an old dog at a barbecue one day

The young dog licked the old dog’s face and together they did play.


The young dog every now and then wanted to play a little fetch…

She made that old dog throw things…she made that old dog stretch.


The young dog jumped and bounced and ran all over the yard…

The old dog can’t remember the last time he played or laughed so hard.


As the young dog made the old dog do things he’d forgotten how to do

the old dog couldn’t believe how fast time with the young dog flew.


It’s funny how the young dog 

in between all that playing…all those licks…

did something we thought impossible…

she taught that old dog some new tricks.


We use to walk together…in the mountains…by the sea

before the sun would rise each day…my golden retriever…and me


We chose to name him Whitman…people assumed we loved poetry

and though we do love a good rhyme…he was named after a bakery.


He was soft and warm and beautiful inside…to us he was a dream

Is it any wonder we chose to name him after a donut filled with cream?


When we would take our walks in the early morning breeze

I would look up at the stars in the sky while Whitman sniffed grass and trees.


My view from atop my two legs was different than what he saw on four

and I never could determine which one of us enjoyed it more.


It’s been many years now since those walks we had to abort

because as any pet owner knows a dogs life is too short


Still today as I began my walk in the cool, crisp morning air

I know this is not possible but I saw Whitman standing there.


He was young…the way he once was…without a leash and free

and before I knew it I could feel him…walking next to me.


I’m not sure I ever enjoyed a walk more than in today’s early morning breeze

I noticed how the moon was full while Whitman sniffed grass and trees.


When we got home I wanted to thank him as we walked across our lawn

but when I looked down to tell him…I was alone…Whitman was gone.


I was left with a smile and a memory and the lesson he taught me today….


How those we love, even when they’re gone, are never far away

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The following words are not written to disparages cats or birds or frogs

or any other animal for that matter…it’s just, in my opinion…

there’s something about a dog!


To start with…and this can’t be a coincidence…

I mean don’t you find it odd

that when you read the letters of dog backward it spells out the word god.


It doesn’t matter what faith you are, in what place of worship you sit

or if you don’t believe in a god at all…it’s a little curious…

you have to admit.


Dogs are innocent, they are loyal, they get excited over the littlest treat.

They are just as happy in your lap as they are sitting by your feet.


When they stand looking out a window they do so with style and grace.

Their love shows up from the wag of their tail to the tongue that licks your face.


No creature on this Earth greets you better when you walk into a room.

They have a way of lifting you up out of your darkest gloom.


They know when you are sad…somehow they understand

and they try to make it better by setting their paw upon your hand.


Spend some time with a dog…it won’t take but a little while

you’ll find how fast your troubles fade away…and you cannot help but smile.


And dogs never judge you by your color, sex, religion…

their acceptance is far and wide…

They don’t judge the way we humans judge…

they judge the person who's inside.


The only criticism I have of dogs is how soon their life is through

If I had one wish….I wish that dogs…would live as long as me and you.


Sure cats are self-reliant, 

birds sing beautifully 

and no animal jumps quite like a frog

but when you get right down to it…


there’s just something about a dog.

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Our son Ryan sent us a picture the other day of his dog Mattie when she was a puppy soon after she arrived

and standing next to Matty was our dog Whitman 

while he was still alive.


The very next day our son Bryan sent a picture of his dog Madison which only magnified

how fast time flies since a year’s already passed since Madison had died.


The photos brought back old memories of wonderful moments…wonderful days

memories that, thank goodness, are never far away.


Memories that lie dormant…enshrouded in a fog

Memories that are easily stirred..by pictures of three dogs…


We are thankful Matty is still living…

while Whitman’s and Madison have been gone a while

But when we see their pictures…we cannot help but smile.


Because when it comes to all dog owners…this point I must concede…

Just like the dogs we love…we are a unique breed.


There is a wonderful phenomenon with dog owners…

A kind of space/time aberration.

that all dog owners understand

that needs no explanation…


When it comes to the dogs we love…

our feelings are quite strong…

for we all believe we have the best dog in the world…



and none of us are wrong.

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If given the chance to meet with God…and have a dialogue

I would first express my thankfulness…for creation of the dog.


We had a dog names Whitman…A golden we got when he was two

I wasn’t sure I wanted a dog at first…but Whitman changed my point of view.


It didn’t take but a moment for my doubtful heart to learn

If I gave him just a little love…so much love he would return.


He would greet me at the door and if I came home angry, bothered or sad

a wag of his tail, his paw on my lap and things didn’t seem so bad.


He loved long walks, chasing balls, running loose and free…

sitting by a mountain stream in the shade of an old oak tree.


He allowed our grandchildren to walk all over him and never made a sound.

A better friend, companion, and confidant…I'm sure could not be found…


There’s something about unconditional love that every dog owner knows

It makes life with them so easy…and so difficult letting go.


If given the chance to speak with God…there’s a second thing I would report

“When you created dogs,” I’d say…”you made their life too short!”


We lost Whitman a while ago…it’s been four years or more

And still there are days when I come home…and expect to see him at our door…


I have a dear friend who lost his dog yesterday…his dog’s name was Bo.

His memories are a lot like mine…he, too, had a hard time letting go…


And though it doesn’t make it any easier…there’s a void you can’t repair…

I like to think when Bo get’s to heaven…Whitman will be waiting there..


And they will play in the clouds together, chasing balls and chewing bones

knowing, despite the friends they left behind,…they’ll never be alone. 


I know one day we’ll be reunited with them,

and Greg, if you’re the first to go…

look out for Whitman till I get there…


And if it’s me…I’ll do the same for Bo.

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We can learn a lot from our dogs…for they seem to have this knack…

If you show them that you love them…then they will love you back.


Dogs don’t care what color you are…if you’re yellow, red or black

If you show them that you love them…then they will love you back.


Dogs don’t care what country your from…if it’s Mexico, China or Iraq.

If you show them that you love them…then they will love you back.


Dog’s don’t care what religion you are…or if a religion you may lack.

If you show them that you love them…then they will love you back.


Dog’s don’t care how rich you are……if you live in a mansion or a shack.

If you show them that you love them…then they will love you back.


Yes, dogs seem to know inherently…something many humans lack.


If you give love…without restrictions…then love…you will get back!

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