In memory of my dog Bella who was more than that – really a friend, a sister, a daughter – who came into my life and left it too early. The following poem is recalling the moment I saw her for the last time, already passed.

Your fur is soft and brushes against my fingers,

And I don’t mind the smell of dog on my clothes,

I just want to stay here a little longer with you

Because I know the moment I go you will go.

You are so heavy and stiff and I cannot hold you

But I will try even if I cannot see because sight is blurry

From trying to make sense of what is happening –

I will still pet you in your sleep and wait for you to wake

And when you do I will be here waiting.

Your eyes won’t close but I hold them down anyway

And your nose is not cold or wet anymore like usual –

Is it weird to be so fixated on how you are lying here?

I cannot leave you here even if I tried so I don’t,

And I just lie down with you with my head next to yours,

And cradle you in my arms even though you cannot move,

And your eyes will not close anymore and I hold them down,

And your nose is not cold or wet like it should be…

But I still brush your fur against my fingers,

And don’t mind if my clothes smell like dog,

And I will stay here a little longer with you,

Because I know the moment I go you will go.


You look like her as she was but not the same,

Not the same in the sense of being here.

You are a shell and empty like you lost your insides,

And I am here crying over a husk with wide eyes.

I cannot let go though and hold on with white fingers.

My head rests next to yours and our noses touch

But mine is the one cold and wet now.

I know when I take you to the car and drive away

To a place that they will take you and burn you up –

That you will no longer be with me here on the floor

With our noses touching and my hands in your fur.

Your eyes are wide open and mine are closed and afraid

But you look more afraid with your open eyes than I do.

I cannot hold you closer or harder to make you less afraid

Because I am afraid and do not know what to do –

I found you like this and I cannot remember how I ended up

On the floor surrounded by your vomit and blood,

But all I notice is you in front of me with our noses touching;

Yet you cannot feel me here brushing your fur with my fingers,

But I can feel you here with me even if it is not really you,

But just a husk or a shell of what you left behind.

Somewhere else you feel my fingers in your fur,

And my wet and cold nose on your wet and cold nose,

And your eyes are moving and blinking at me looking at you,

And your body is not stiff and heavy in my arms.

I cannot leave so I will stay here a little longer with you,

Because I know the moment I go you will go.