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Dogs never die. They are sleeping in your heart.

P8010053_thumb By Tamara | January 29, 2014 | Comments (11)

When I read this piece I really loved it. It's simple and very beautiful.  I'm sharing it because I thought it might be of comfort for those experiencing the loss of a four-legged family member.

Ernest Montague wrote this and says, "I wrote this several years ago in memory of Bolo, a black and white Pit Bull who would always go for a walk, right up to the day he died. He might only get 15 feet before he stopped and looked at me and gave me the look: 'I can't go any further. But don't you think for one minute I'm done walking.'"

The experience of losing a dog is a universal one for every pet parent. I hope Ernest's wise words help you, or someone you know, even if just a little.

"Some of you, particularly those who think they have recently lost a dog to 'death', don’t really understand this. I’ve had no desire to explain, but won’t be around forever and must.

Dogs never die. They don’t know how to. They get tired, and very old, and their bones hurt. Of course they don’t die. If they did they would not want to always go for a walk, even long after their old bones say: 'No, no, not a good idea. Let's not go for a walk.' Nope, dogs always want to go for a walk. They might get one step before their aging tendons collapse them into a heap on the floor, but that's what dogs are. They walk.

It’s not that they dislike your company. On the contrary, a walk with you is all there is. Their boss, and the cacaphonic symphony of odor that the world is. Cat poop, another dog’s mark, a rotting chicken bone (exultation), and you. That’s what makes their world perfect, and in a perfect world death has no place.

However, dogs get very very sleepy. That’s the thing, you see. They don't teach you that at the fancy university where they explain about quarks, gluons, and Keynesian economics. They know so much they forget that dogs never die. It’s a shame, really. Dogs have so much to offer and people just talk a lot.

When you think your dog has died, it has just fallen asleep in your heart. And by the way, it is wagging its tail madly, you see, and that’s why your chest hurts so much and you cry all the time. Who would not cry with a happy dog wagging its tail in their chest. Ouch! Wap wap wap wap wap, that hurts. But they only wag when they wake up. That’s when they say: 'Thanks Boss! Thanks for a warm place to sleep and always next to your heart, the best place.'

When they first fall asleep, they wake up all the time, and that’s why, of course, you cry all the time. Wap, wap, wap. After a while they sleep more. (remember, a dog while is not a human while. You take your dog for walk, it’s a day full of adventure in an hour. Then you come home and it's a week, well one of your days, but a week, really, before the dog gets another walk. No WONDER they love walks.)

Anyway, like I was saying, they fall asleep in your heart, and when they wake up, they wag their tail. After a few dog years, they sleep for longer naps, and you would too. They were a GOOD DOG all their life, and you both know it. It gets tiring being a good dog all the time, particularly when you get old and your bones hurt and you fall on your face and don’t want to go outside to pee when it is raining but do anyway, because you are a good dog. So understand, after they have been sleeping in your heart, they will sleep longer and longer.

But don’t get fooled. They are not 'dead.' There’s no such thing, really. They are sleeping in your heart, and they will wake up, usually when you’re not expecting it. It’s just who they are.

I feel sorry for people who don’t have dogs sleeping in their heart. You’ve missed so much. Excuse me, I have to go cry now."


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Comments on this Article

Me again, well he's gone. I woke up this morning and found him dead on the floor. But last night before I went to sleep I laid down with him, hugged him rubbed his stomach and told him how much he meant to us and how much we all loved him. I named every member of the family and gave him a kiss. I think he already knew that it was his time and at 13 I think he lived one hell of a life. I'll always remember him and never forget the day he was brought home but thanks to your article it has helped ease the pain a little bit.
I've just come across this and it hit me hard. My German Sheppard is in his final days. He is twelve/thirteen years old and has slowed down a lot and most recently been very poorly. He will be going to the vets next week and my heart just tells me that they will say those dreaded words that all dog owners hate "I think it's his time" and I know the moment I hear those words I'm gonna break down but if the vet thinks he's in pain then I'll let him go knowing that its gonna hurt so much but he'll be up there with the his son Elvis playing around and happy and the worst part (other than losing a friend) is that he has a sister and shes only a year younger than he is and starting to show the same symptoms but like him I'll make sure the next year of her life are just as great as the previous.
Ernest Montegue, I wanted to thank you for reading my "Letter from Rosie" I first read your article "Dogs never die, they are sleeping in your heart" in April, 2014... I have returned several times and have enjoyed it all over again....recently a friend of mine lost their beloved pet and I encouraged her to find your posting on this web site...it has also been well over a year since I lost my sweet girl "Rosie"....she wakes up in my heart quite frequently....and if it weren't for articles like yours, I would never of found peace and acceptance with my girl's passing....Thank you so much☺️
I tucked this away a while ago when it first came across my screen. I was still thinking about my 16 year old beagle, Edy. Little did I know I'd already have use for it today. My just-turned-five sweet boy died this afternoon... oh, those walks he came with me on, and the efforts he made to put his head on my hand... all the way to the end. My heart is thumping so hard... at least I know why.
Gosh, that was nice.....thank you,... I actually feel better....Rosie's tail is thumping right now, and she woke up in my heart.....
This was much needed after losing my Wire Fox Terrier, Merci last Sunday. She will always live forever in my heart.. thank you
I wrote this several years ago in memory of Bolo, a black and white Pit Bull who would always go for a walk, right up to the day he died. He might only get 15 feet before he stopped and looked at me and gave me the look:" I can't go any further. But don't you think for one minute I'm done walking."
Very nicely said. It's something one should take to heart. Very beautiful Tamara.
I am mourning the passing of my beautiful Yellow Lab, Daisy, who was almost 14yrs old and having lost the use of her back legs was, very sadly, pts on 28th Jan. The grief is all-consuming and I feel like I shall never, ever come to terms with her loss. The words of this article are wonderful and I thank you. I can indeed feel Daisy waking up because my heart races and I cry. Its a really comforting feeling now I know that its my baby! xxxxx
Thank you for writing this article. It is utterly inspiring! I am in the process of losing my Black Lab, Hunter, to cancer. Your words are SO comforting and TRUE! XOXOXOXO
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