My Son (A Poem)

10 Feb

My son’s dog, Bowser, was a great friend to him.   He was only six months old, but we all loved him.  He was one of those pups who has spirit, charm and lots of personality.  He was a very smart dog too.  He would distract the other dogs by barking out the door and when they were all distracted, pick up the food bowl and carry it into another room to eat undisturbed.

He contracted some type of sickness this past week, and because there’s no veterinarian here in our little Honduran town, all we could do was look online for solutions and try to keep him hydrated.  The brave little guy checked out tonight.  My son came to me when he knew for sure the little dog was gone and just melted in my arms as we both cried.  We all cried.  My wife came home with my daughter and they were both heartbroken about it.  

I wrote this for…

My Son

You know… you’re almost seventeen.  I think you understand

the facts of life and death, my son, the Father’s master plan.

At least you know as well as most that God is sovereign.

I dug the grave, you laid him in, remember this, young man,

that nothing cuts as deeply as the end of life’s long span.

I know you loved your little friend.  Though small he was so grand.

Although you haven’t cried for years, tonight the teardrops ran.

Come sit with me a while my son, for soon you’ll be a man.

But this night let me be your strength.  In time you’ll love again.


Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Death, Grief, Life, Poetry


Tags: , , , , , , ,

15 responses to “My Son (A Poem)

  1. soundarya ratna singh

    February 15, 2012 at 11:03 am

    this is a very heat touching poem. I really have slight tears in my eyes and little pity on your son and dog too.this is a great poem. your thought make it outstanding.

    • rogerdengle

      February 15, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Thank you.

  2. Alex Waits

    February 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    That was very touching. Dogs here have short life spans, but their love and their owners press on.

    • rogerdengle

      February 12, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      Thanks Alex, You’re right about the short life span of dogs here. That matters so much more because of their usefulness. Coral is still my meanest dog though. 🙂

  3. Angeline M

    February 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    So sorry for your loss Roger. It really does hurt when a pet is lost. Your son is very lucky to have you help him through this.

    • rogerdengle

      February 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      Thanks Angeline. I appreciate your sympathy, your comment and your visit to the blog. He’s doing well, but last night was tough.

    • rogerdengle

      February 12, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      Thanks Angeline, I thought I had approved and replied to your comment as well, but I guess something was glitching that day. I appreciate your comments and I hope you’ll be back.

  4. Kourtney Heintz

    February 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Your story and your poem brought me to tears. Dogs are truly man’s best friend. It’s horrible to lose one. Especially when he was so young. Give your son a hug for me.

    That is a beautiful poem you wrote for your son and what a gift to him. He can treasure it for decades to come. And the comfort you gave will help him through.

    I saw an amazing writer speak and he said, “Grieving is the most important thing a human being can do.” You’re a wonderful father to let him grieve his puppy. Eventually the human heart and mind work through it. Please remind him it’s okay to move at his own pace. We all get there eventually. 🙂

    • rogerdengle

      February 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Thank you Kourtney. I agree that grieving is very important, even when it’s “only a pet”. Some people don’t think that a pet is something to grieve, but for my son that puppy was his best friend. I have a little German Shepherd Dog female that is a little over a year old and she is my very best friend, second only to my wife and kids. It would floor me to lose her and I know just what my son must be feeling.
      I hope he does keep a copy of that poem. I sent it to him in his email inbox so he will have it as long as he can access the internet.

      • Kourtney Heintz

        February 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm

        I have a shih-tzu who had been with me through two spine surgeries. Every illness,he’s been at my side for 7.5 years. He’s as dear as any person to me. I still remember his first day when I taught him to give kisses and he hid in the kitchen. Whenever I think of the future without him, it breaks my heart.

      • rogerdengle

        February 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm

        Thanks Kourtney, for commenting. I know what you mean about your dog being special to you. I have five dogs, (four are for security, but one’s a pet), and I have lost many dogs over the years I’ve lived here in Honduras. We have no vet here and this place is just hard on animals. Every time we lose an animal we are momentarily devastated, but as my friend Alex stated, we keep moving forward. Here’s to lots more years with our special pets.

  5. Stephanie Raffelock

    February 10, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Beautiful, tender and gentle. A tear here too. Fur babies bring such great joy to our life, burrow into our hearts so quickly . . .

    • rogerdengle

      February 10, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Thank you Stephanie. Yes, they are a special part of our lives, and when one checks out early it is a very hard thing to deal with. Much more so for a sixteen-year-old who mostly thinks he’s a man, but at times like this has to deal with the fact that he’s still part boy and needs his parents to comfort him. I am glad I could do something to help him through it. Thanks for your visit.

  6. Gilly Gee

    February 10, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Roger I am so sorry to read this (the tears are streaming down my face) How sad that the puppy didn’t even make it to grow up. Your poor son, at least he has a terrific dad to help with his grief. Your poem is very precious.

    • rogerdengle

      February 10, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Thank you Gilly. When I read him the poem it began a new session of crying and holding each other. To me, losing a dog is not a new thing. As I said, there’s no vet here. We keep 5 or 6 dogs constantly because there have been so many break-ins and thefts since we moved here. We learned that having a bunch of mean dogs is necessary to prevent that. Naturally, with that many dogs around, we lose at least one a year. But this is the first he actually raised and trained and linked his heart to. It is a tough time for him and I want him to understand that “this too shall pass”. He’s a very mature young man and I know he’ll get over it. I told him last night that there aren’t a lot of things I do well, but writing is one I am somewhat good at and I wanted to bless him. I think I did. Thanks for visiting, commenting and sharing our grief.

%d bloggers like this: