My grandfather who lived well into his 90's, wrote a fair amount of poetry in his last two decades. Some of it made you cringe in embarrassment, but more than a few were pretty darned good. Grandpa grew up on a farm near Sacred Heart, Minnesota. More than 70 years after the event, he wrote about losing his first dog circa 1912. With so many people losing their dogs lately, I thought of this poem. I still cry when I read this one. :'-)
For many years I had a dog
I was then but a boy -
A little dog, not very bright
But loyal to the core.
One day her health began to fail
And daily she grew worse.
Her suffering ever on my mind -
No vet - her ailment was a bitter curse.
I had to face what must be done
Her suffering soon must end.
It could be left to no one else
This ordeal I alone must tend.
I took my gun down off the rack.
She saw, and gathering all her waning
strength once more
Off to hunt we went
As we had so many times before.
I raised my gun and took good aim.
Her sad eyes full of trust,
I did the only thing I could,
The thing I knew I must.
From time to time through all the years
The hurt comes back in full.
For as a boy I'd loved a dog
Who loved me in return.
Henry L. Jacobson