The Sweetness of Dogs


In memory of Jimmy (pictured with me), who was a sweet dog if ever there was one, I offer this poem that Mary Oliver wrote about her dog Percy. Jimmy left this world two weeks ago, but those of us who knew him carry his gentle sweetness in our hearts. Jimmy, you looked at each of us like we were your perfect moon, when, in truth, you were ours.

The Sweetness of Dogs

What do you say Percy? I am thinking

of sitting out on the sand to watch

the moon rise. Full moon.

So we go

And the moon rises, so beautiful it

makes me shudder, makes me think about

time and space, makes me take

measure of myself; one iota

pondering heaven. Thus we sit,

I thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s

perfect beauty and also, oh! how rich

it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,

leans against me and gazes up into

my face, as though I were

his perfect moon.

– by Mary Oliver in Evidence –

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9 Responses to The Sweetness of Dogs

  1. nancy mccranie says:

    I’m grateful that I’ve lived to experience that doggie love-lorn look. It’s so comforting to be accepted that fully. Thanks for writing this loving tribute to your friend, Jimmy. Love, Nancy

  2. Scott, what a sensitive and caring tribute to Jimmy. The poem you selected was so perfect for all of us who have had to let a pet go. Thank you for your constant attentiveness to life itself.

  3. Kathryn says:

    I live in amazement at the perfect unspeakable love to which our pet companions guide us. Love you Jimmy

  4. Alycia says:

    Max made me feel the same way you describe Jimmy! Dogs touch you in a way no other human or pet can.

  5. Jane says:

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your loving words and the beautiful poem. Your tenderness with Jimmy always touched my heart, I am grateful that you were a part of his short time here. Thank you for helping us through this difficult time.

  6. Monette L. Taylor says:

    So sorry for your loss. In the past 26 years, we have established a “doggy cemetary” out on the farm. Between the kids’ dogs and ours, I’ve lost count of how many are buried out there, but they are in good company. Bless you.

  7. Julie Bowman says:

    Oh, Scott, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Jimmy. Our furry companions offer us such lessons of love and acceptance–the poem describes it so well.
    It is so terribly hard to say goodbye to our adoring and adored charges. My heart goes out to you.
    Love, Julie

    • scott says:

      Thank you Julie. Our friends Jane and Val were Jimmy’s human parents, but we felt like he was part of our family too.

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