These 34 dog poems, about our relationship with our dogs, will help you grieve a loss, or celebrate a friendship.
My Shelter Days are numbered ten.
Ten more days until my end.
My Shelter Days are numbered eight.
Please adopt me. Change my fate.
My Shelter Days are numbered six.
Adopt a pet week, still no one's pick.
My Shelter Days are numbered four.
Four more days and then no more.
My Shelter Days are numbered two.
Someone will take me, I just don't know who.
My Shelter Days are numbered none.
I know I'm finished, then you come.
My Shelter Days are over, done,
Because you, my master, took me home.
The Final Countdown
I lie belly-up
In the sunshine, happier than
You ever will be.
Today I sniffed
Many dog butts—I celebrate
By kissing your face.
I sound the alarm!
Paperboy—come to kill us all —
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!
I sound the alarm!
Garbage man—come to kill us all —
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!
I lift my leg and
Whiz on each bush. Hello, Spot—
Sniff this and weep.
I Hate my choke chain—
Look, world, they strangle me! Ack
Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack!
Sleeping here, my chin
On your foot—no greater bliss—well,
Maybe catching cats.
Look in my eyes and
Deny it. No human could
Love you as much as I do.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote To Flush, My Dog, a poem about her favourite companion. It is too long to include here, so I created a page for it alone. Click on the link above to read it.
If there is no God for thee
Then there is no God for me.
Anna Hempstead Branch
'Tis sweet to hear the watch dog's honest bark
Bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw near home;
'tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark
Our coming and look brighter when we come.
With eye upraised his master's look to scan,
The joy, the solace, and the aid of man:
The rich man's guardian and the poor man's friend,
The only creature faithful to the end.
You're only a dog, old fellow;
a dog, and you've had your day;
But never a friend of all my friends
has been truer than you alway.
Julian Stearns Cutler
An earthly dog of the carriage breed;
Who, having failed of the modern speed,
Now asked asylum and I was stirred
To be the one so dog preferred.
The dog barks backward without getting up.
I can remember when he was a pup.
Here Shock, the pride of all his kind, is laid,
Who fawned like man, but ne'er like man betrayed.
He was lost!-not a shade of doubt of that;
For he never barked at a slinking cat,
But stood in the square where the wind blew raw
With a drooping ear and a trembling paw
And a mournful look in his pleading eye
And a plaintive sniff at the passer-by
That begged as plain as a tongue could sue,
"O Mister! please may I follow you?"
A lorn wee waif of a tawny brown
Adrift in the roar of a heedless town.
Oh, the saddest of sights in a world of sin
Is a little lost pup with his tail tucked in!
He won my heart, for I set great store,
on my own Red Beaut, who is here no more.
So I whistled clear, and he trotted up,
and who so glad, as that small lost pup.
Now he shares my board and he owns my bed,
And he fairly shouts when he hears my tread;
Then, if things go wrong, as they sometimes do,
and the world is cold, and I'm feeling blue
He asserts his right to assuage my woes
With a warm, red tongue and a nice, cold nose
And a silky head on my arm or knee
And a paw as soft as a paw can be.
When we rove the woods for a league about
He's as full of pranks as a school let out;
For he romps and frisks like a three months' colt,
And he runs me down like a thunderbolt.
Oh, the blithest of sights in the world so fair
Is a gay little pup with his tail in the air!
Little Lost Pup
What we can we will be,
Do the work that's nearest,
Though it's dull at whiles,
Helping, when we meet them,
Lame dogs over stiles.
When all the world is young, lad,
And all the trees are green;
And every goose is a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen;
Then hey, for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away;
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog its day.
There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
But when we are certain of sorrow in store
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
I'm a lean dog, a keen dog, a wild dog, and lone;
I'm a rough dog, a tough dog, hunting on my own;
I'm a bad dog, a mad dog, teasing silly sheep;
I love to sit and bay the moon to keep fat souls from sleep.
Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog;
but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog.
I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes and dogs.
No louder shrieks to pitying heaven are cast,
When husbands or lap-dogs breathe their last.
I am his Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
To be, contents his natural desire,
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.
Go wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense
Weigh thy opinion against Providence.
Essay on Man
I have a dog of Blenheim birth,
With fine long ears and full of mirth;
And sometimes, running o'er the plain,
He tumbles on his nose:
But quickly jumping up again,
Like lightning on he goes!
My Dog Dash
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew and dog will have his day.
But in come canine Paradise
Your wraith, I know, rebukes the moon,
And quarters every plain and hill,
Seeking its master. . . . As for me
This prayer at least the gods fulfill
That when I pass the flood and see
Old Charon by Stygian coast
Take toll of all the shades who land,
Your little, faithful barking ghost
May leap to lick my phantom hand.
St. John Welles Lucas,
To a Dog
Pray steal me not, I'm Mrs. Dingley's,
Whose heart in this four-footed thing lies.
Jonathan Swift (a lapdog's collar inscription)
He will hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel force,
Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
I explained it to St. Peter,
I'd rather stay here
Outside the pearly gate.
I won't be a nuisance,
I won't even bark, I'll be very patient and wait,
I'll be here, chewing on a celestial bone,
No matter how long you may be.
I'd miss you so much, if I went in alone.
It wouldn't be heaven for me.
My sunshine doesn't come from the skies,
It comes from the love in my dog's eyes.
The final lesson took a while
But finally she understood
"Is it three days, not counting hols?
Then come and meet me in the wood."
I've sold her now a dozen times
And she's had twelve enormous bones
She stays with them three working days
The cheque has cleared—then she runs home!
Why own a dog? There's a danger you know,
You can't own just one, for the craving will grow.
There's no doubt they're addictive, wherein lies the danger.
While living with lots, you'll grow poorer and stranger.
One dog is no trouble, and two are so funny.
The third one is easy, the fourth one's a honey.
The fifth one's delightful, the sixth one's a breeze,
You find you can live with a houseful of ease.
So how 'bout another? Would you really dare?
They're really quite easy but, oh, Lord the hair!
With dogs on the sofa and dogs on the bed,
And crates in the kitchen, it's no bother, you've said.
They're really no trouble, their manners are great.
What's one more dog and just one more crate?
The sofa is hairy, the windows are crusty,
The floor is all footprints, the furniture dusty.
The housekeeping suffers, but what do you care?
Who minds a few noseprints and a little more hair?
So let's keep a puppy, you can always find room,
And a little more time for the dust cloth and broom.
There's hardly a limit to the dogs you can add,
The thought of a cutback sure makes you sad.
Each one is so special, so useful, so funny.
The vet and food bills grows larger, you owe BIG money.
Your folks never visit, few friends come to stay,
Except other "dog folks" who live the same way.
Your lawn has now died, and your shrubs are dead too,
But your weekends are busy, you're off with your crew.
There's dog food and vitamins, training and shots.
And entries and travel and motels which cost lots.
Is it worth it you wonder? Are you caught in a trap?
Then that favorite one comes and climbs in your lap.
His look says you're special and you know that you will
Keep all of the critters in spite of the bill.
Some just for showing and some just to breed.
And some just for loving, they all fill a need.
God, winter's a hassle, the dogs hate it too.
But they must have their walks though they're numb and your blue.
Late evening is awful, you scream and you shout
At the dogs on the sofa who refuse to go out.
The dogs and the dog shows, the travel, the thrills,
The work and the worry, the pressure, the bills.
The whole thing seems worth it, the dogs are your life.
They're charming and funny and offset the strife.
Your life-style has changed. Things won't be the same.
Yes, those dogs are addictive and so is the dog game.
No cold philosophy, no cynic sneer,
Checks the unhidden and honest tear,
What little difference, and how short the span,
Betwixt thy instinct and the mind of man.
Unknown Poet (Inscription on a dog's gravestone)
His friends he loved. His direst earthly foe —
Cats—I believe he did but feign to hate.
My hand will miss the insinuated nose,
Mine eyes the tail that wagged contempt at Fate.
Sir William Watson
I talk to him when I'm lonesome like;
And I'm sure he understands.
When he looks at me so attentively,
And gently licks my hands;
Then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes,
But I never say naught thereat.
For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes,
But never a friend like that.
W. Dayton Wedgefarth
If my dog is barred by the heavenly guard
We'll both of us brave the heat!
W. Dayton Wedgefarth
Lots of people have a rug.
Very few have a Pug.
The Dachshund's affectionate
He wants to wed with you:
Lie down to sleep,
And he's in bed with you.
Sit in a chair,
You break his heart.
The little dog lay curled and did not rise
But slept the deeper as the ashes rose,
And found the people incomplete.
At thieves, I bark'd, at lovers wagg'd my tail,
And thus I pleased both Lord and Lady Frail.
John Wilkes (epitaph about Lady Frail's lapdog)
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