Date: May, 2022

Location: PoetsOnline, specifically the Archive on the dog’s voice.

Genesis: My beautiful dog, Molly, was with me for over eleven years. On April 1, 2022, she died peacefully, here at home.

A little while later, I saw a prompt to write a poem from the point of view of a dog, and I was moved to tell of her final days. It was a very painful time, but also very beautiful, and I hope this comes across in the piece.

Twelve years.
The same dry food.
Every. Single. Day.
Then I get sick, and suddenly,
it's minced beef! Chicken and rice! Ham!
Maybe I should have fallen ill earlier…
Don’t get me wrong –
I loved the dry food
(until I didn’t).
And I enjoyed having my own space –
my kennel in the garden during the day,
my snug, stone shed for night-time-night-time.
Then suddenly – I’m inside the house!!
My basket, tucked into a corner,
complete with my blankets and duvet.
In the actual house!!
I should definitely have fallen ill earlier…

He slept near me, on the floor.
I did not see that coming.
I knew enough to ask to be out
first thing the next morning.
I had a little explore, just in case
I didn’t get another chance.
He did have to lift me back inside, though,
up the two stone steps.
My legs are different now;
they used to work.

That day, he offered me water, often,
and little morsels of chicken.
A couple of times,
he even put my lead around my neck 
to which I grunted
and dropped my head, 
down onto my bed.
He got the message.

The next night – 
my last night – 
wasn’t quite so peaceful.
I woke us both up
in the early hours
with strange and unfamiliar sounds
issuing from my own, raspy throat.
Something was changing.
He knew it, too.
He came and sat close to me,
stroking my head
and whispering “I love you”
and “just let go”
over and over,
his tears gradually making 
my left ear damp
and warm.

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