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Letting Go: A Poem to Help Let Go
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On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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19 September 2008 - 4:59 pm
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My friend LeeAnn, Daisy's Mom, sent this to us. It is so beautiful, we wanted to share it with you.

In Blackwater Woods,
by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
26 July 2008
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19 September 2008 - 5:09 pm
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Beautiful and thought provoking.  Thank you

Member Since:
27 July 2008
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19 September 2008 - 5:40 pm
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Very beautifully written.  I saved it to my email, I feel it's that good.


Blazer, Kimber & Mommy

Member Since:
25 April 2008
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23 October 2008 - 12:13 pm
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They say memories are golden
well maybe that is true
I never wanted memories,
I only wanted you.

A million times I needed you,
a million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you
you never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place
no one could ever fill.

If tears could build a stairway
and heartache make a lane,
I'd walk the path to heaven
and bring you back again.

Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again.

--- Anonymous ---


Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

Member Since:
25 April 2008
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23 October 2008 - 12:28 pm
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The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak,

And pain should keep me from my sleep,

Then will you do what must be done,

For this, the last battle, can't be won.


You will be sad I understand,

But don't let grief then stay your hand,

For on this day, more than the rest,

Your love and friendship must stand the test.


We have had so many happy years,

You wouldn't want me to suffer so.

When the time comes, please, let me go.

Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,

Only, stay with me till the end


And hold me firm and speak to me,

Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree,

It is a kindness you do to me.

Although my tail its last has waved,

From pain and suffering I have been saved.


Don't grieve that it must be you,

Who has to decide this thing to do;

We've been so close,we two, these years,

Don't let your heart hold any tears.


Author Unknown

Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

Member Since:
27 July 2008
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23 October 2008 - 6:16 pm
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Hi Kim,

I want to let you know that I think you have the nicest things to say to everyone.  You seem to have a gift in that you can find the words to calm and reassure those who are suffering with loss and pain of losing their loved ones.  I love both of the poems you posted above.  I have read "The Last Battle" before and I just love that poem because it is so true that we share so much with our animals while they are alive that I feel it is so important to be with them when they die.  The last thing they will remember is the gentle strokes to their heads, or ears, or maybe even a last tummy rub, a gentle cooing in the ear can be so comforting.  But, it is important to be there for them until the very end because they have given us so much in life.

Thank you for being you,

Vicki, Blazer & Kitty Kimber

Member Since:
25 April 2008
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24 October 2008 - 1:14 pm
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    Thank you so much for the heart felt complement. However , I can not and will not take credit for the beautiful poems. I just love to read beautiful poetry and wanted to share what is  universally felt when we lose a dear fur baby. I think they express alot of what is sometimes hard to convey. I just wanted to console all those who are having a difficult time and are mourning. I posted them here as a reference, because one day, I might need them here to read as a reminder of how to ease my own sorrow.

Sending hugs ,


Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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24 October 2008 - 6:28 pm
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Kim, thank you. This one poem really made my Mom's eyes water. It says it all in such a noble, truthful way.

Mom just now had a chance to read it, three weeks to the day I earned my wings.

We really appreciate your taking the time to put this beautiful poetry here, thank you.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
30 March 2008
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24 October 2008 - 10:30 pm
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Hi Kim,  what beautiful poems.  My mom has tears in her eyes and will definitely keep these for the day she may need them herself.  She has created a folder where she keeps all the beautiful poems so that she can read them from time to time.  Thanks for being so thoughtful and for giving all of us such comfort. 


Member Since:
18 May 2008
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25 October 2008 - 1:19 pm
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I love all these poems; where do you guys find them? I have printed them too and keep them in a special memory box I have. "I Only Wanted You" is especially tender to me today because the other night when we were looking at a border collie website, my husband said "I guess I don't want a puppy; I just want Abbey back"  The void is always there. It's only been three weeks though and we are pretty sure we will get a sweet little soul by Christmas. We are already thinking of names. No one can ever replace Abbey but there are more happy times ahead with someone new to love. di (diane riley)

Member Since:
2 October 2008
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25 October 2008 - 6:38 pm
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Mary Oliver is such a beautiful poet, and "In Blackwater Woods" such a beautiful and powerful poem.

She actually wrote a poem about the loss of her own dog (I'm assuming it couldn't be otherwise, even with a poet's imagination, because she gets it, to my mind, so right).  When I first read this, when Sophie was a young dog, it brought me to tears.  We know when we fall in love with a dog that we will most likely outlive this amazing creature who has entered our world.  It's hard to love holding on to that knowledge.  As Mary Oliver says, loving what is mortal, holding it to our bones, and letting it go when it is time.  Here is her poem about her dog (beware- it is powerful and sad), as well as a couple of other poems that speak to me about grief, and love, and what it is to stay in the world after someone we have loved has gone.  I still can't imagine it though.

Her Grave

She would come back, dripping thick water, from the green bog.
She would fall at my feet, she would draw the black skin
from her gums, in a hideous and wonderful smile—
and I would rub my hands over her pricked ears and her
cunning elbows,
and I would hug the barrel of her body, amazed at the unassuming
perfect arch of her neck.


It took four of us to carry her into the woods.
We did not think of music,
but, anyway, it began to rain


Her wolfish, invitational, half-pounce.

Her great and lordly satisfaction at having chased something.

My great and lordly satisfaction at her splash
of happiness as she barged
through the pitch pines swiping my face with her
wild, slightly mossy tongue.


Does the hummingbird think he himself invented his crimson throat?
He is wiser than that, I think.

A dog lives fifteen years, if you’re lucky.

Do the cranes crying out in the high clouds
think it is all their own music?

A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own house, but you
do not therefore own her, as you do not own the rain, or the
trees, or the laws which pertain to them.
Does the bear wandering in the autumn up the side of the hill
think all by herself she has imagined the refuge and the refreshment
of her long slumber?
A dog can never tell you what she knows from the
smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know
almost nothing.
Does the water snake with his backbone of diamonds think
the black tunnel on the bank of the pond is a palace
of his own making?


She roved ahead of me through the fields, yet would come back, or
wait for me, or be somewhere.

Now she is buried under the pines.

Nor will I argue it, or pray for anything but modesty, and
not to be angry.
Through the trees there is the sound of the wind, palavering.

The smell of the pine needles, what is it but a taste
of the infallible energies?
How strong was her dark body!
How apt is her grave place.
How beautiful is her unshakable sleep.


the slick mountains of love break
over us.

– Mary Oliver

Well, maybe I'll actually stop with this poem, for now.

Christine & Sophie

p.s.  Sophie is three days post first chemo treatment today, Carboplatin.  She seems absolutely fine.  I got her a new rubber chicken, in a purple polka dot bikini, which emits squeaky sounds the nature of which neither Soph nor I have ever encountered!  So she's enjoying that, as well as the continuation of the recent quantum leap in the quality of her food, and she continues the doggy pleasures of making many new friends and attracting much attention in her new three legged status.  So right now she's happy, and so am I.  We wish you all these moments of happiness too, with puppies new and old...

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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25 October 2008 - 10:44 pm
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Wow, that is a really, incredible, powerful poem. Thank you so much. We just might have to read more of her poetry.

Sophie, I'm glad to hear you're doing great. Such good news to have on such a beautiful Saturday. Here's to many more moments of happiness! Yipee!

You must send a photo of that crazy rubber chicken! Did you know that a rubber chicken was one of my favorite toys?



Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
25 April 2008
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25 October 2008 - 11:35 pm
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  Yes, that is very deep & beautiful..... dogs are really a gift from God, to be able to inspire so many.

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and he wagged his tail. And Adam said, "But Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and all the good names are taken and I cannot think of a name for this new animal."

And God said, "No problem! Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG."

Plastic chickens you say??  will have to get one for Buster in my 10 years with him he's never had one... thanks for letting me in on the secret LOL... as always Jerry looks great with the chickie!!

Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

Member Since:
2 October 2008
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26 October 2008 - 1:02 am
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You must send a photo of that crazy rubber chicken! Did you know that a rubber chicken was one of my favorite toys?

We did not actually know that, but the chicken purchase WAS inspired by Jerry's picks in the Tripawd store – my mom was so taken with the rubber chicken, that when she saw a similar chicken at the pet store, she had to get it (she didn't know it until she left, but they actually gave it to us for free- the guy at the register had said, 'I'll give you a special deal on that, I'm so tired of hearing kids squeak it!'  Turns out the special deal was FREE! double yippee!).  Anyway whenever mom finally figures out how to download pics, Henrietta the bikini chicken will make an appearance here on Tripawds.

It is lovely to see Jerry playing with his chicken.  These are some of the deepest pleasures in life 🙂

Sophie and Christine

(p.s.  Mary Oliver's poetry is really wonderful- I don't think you would be dissapointed. "New and Selected Poems" is a wonderful and pretty comprehensive introduction).

Member Since:
26 January 2008
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28 October 2008 - 9:59 am
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These poems are all beautiful. Our favorite is "The Dog" by Ogden Nash:

The truth I do not stretch or shove 
When I state that the dog is full of love. 
I've also found, by actual test, 
A wet dog is the lovingest.

..we used it on Lalla's custom memory Tripawd Book.


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