January 11, 2011

Goodbye to a best dog, a dearest friend

Emily Pajamas passed away today at the age of 17. She was so very much.

Here's a poem I wrote for her a number of years ago.

Birthday Poem for Emily Pajamas

A golden lab with a regal fine boned head
and wise amber eyes; I’d name her Elsa
after the lioness of my childhood adoration.
We’d walk the Connecticut shoreline, sun glinting

off two golden heads. My daughter screamed
with terror when the big dogs loped towards her
at the breeders. She hid her face in my legs
as her baby brother, seeing her fear, shinnied

with monkey agility from my arm’s cradle
to my neck seeking higher ground. Then, here’s
what gets frowned at, the story of you, huddled
in your cage, retreating from the mall’s din.

You should never buy from pet stores, people chide.
I went for shoes, just tipped my head in for a peek
at the puppies, in need of cheer that evening.
All the others barked and wriggled for attention

but you, a silly clump of white fuzz, looked away
with sad, spent eyes. My thought was to play
with you a bit to cheer us both, only that. I never
got the shoes. Almost eight, you shadow my every move

until I change my mind and direction, turn and fall
over the small knotty house of your body, and stand
up again, annoyed at your reproachful look as you skulk
away. That you would complain in the way dogs do,

the doleful eyes, the curving spine when you creep away
to tuck into your bed. Are you not the one who yaps
without ceasing, obsessed with squirrels? The poultry
crazed banshee howling at the kitchen door? Guilty

of the chewed up purses and briefcases, the contents
of the trash bin strewn over the carpet? Who tolerates
the small tortures of young children with better temper
than I could manage? Who hurls all seventeen pounds

of herself against the door in an amusing ferocity? There
have been times when only the heated curl of you in my lap,
snoring dog scented dreams, could comfort. When we walk
down the road past the grander dogs, I follow dutifully

behind your tug at the leash, thinking how I seem
to always end up with the unexpected
that I love all the more.

- Susan Moorhead


Kittie Flyn said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Cait O'Connor said...

That was a truly lovely poem and a moving tribute to your dog. I am so sorry that he has passed and know just how you feel.

Stephanie said...

Susan, what an amazing tribute to Emily P.
I think I understand exactly how you feel. Although it doesn't make it any easier. I knew her in her later years, I could see how great she was. She will be missed sorrowfully. The pictures are great too.

nan said...

Oh, Susan. I am so sorry. My thoughts are with you. Emily Pajamas was adorable and without a doubt, a wonderful, dear dog!

Nan said...

Oh, dear Susan. A week later than we lost our Ben. My heart aches, aches for you. It breaks my heart.

Susan said...

Thank you all so much - still trying to absorb the loss of my sweet girl. It is nice to have the comfort of friends :)
Nan, I was thinking of you and your Ben this morning.

WOL said...

Our furry friends have such a way of wiggling and wagging their way so very deep into our hearts, and they leave such a huge, echoing hole behind them when they go on ahead. I don't know which makes us more human: the way we grow to love them when they are with us, or the way we grieve for them when they have gone on. I don't know which of us is the luckier -- them for having us or us for having them.

By the second paragraph the tears were rolling down my face. Miss Emily Pajamas was a special, lucky lady. Honor her memory by taking in the one in need she will send to you by and by.

Nan said...

Susan, the loss leaves such a hole. I've never been one that believes time makes things better. Different, not better. I've been telling Sadie how we are making a new life now. She's a dear girl.

Anonymous said...

She was the best sister I could of ever asked for. I loved her, dressing her up, playing with her, hanging out with her, listening to her snoring at night. She lived such a long happy life and I'm sure Moky met her on the Rainbow Bridge to lead her to where they both will play and be happy and pain free. I don't think for a second Emmy thought you were betraying her by making that difficult decision. Thank you for letting me grow up with such an amazing dog. She will be horribly missed by everyone in the house and me. I loved her so much and will continue to love her in memory. She was so beautiful and simply amazing. Such a loyal, perfect canine.

dylan said...

Susan, what a lovely birthday poem. I'm so sorry you and your family lost Emily Pajamas. You won't ever forget her. Sending much love.

Susan said...

Thank you all - and to "Anon" - no one could have been a kinder or truer sister to a fellow creature on this earth. Your compassion and capacity for love continues to amaze me and make me proud. Emmy had a far better life because you were in it. Love.