Requiem for Clue- A Very Old Dog: 1996-2009

Today we said good-bye to dear old friend. It’s never easy, and I’ll miss his ancient tottering steps following me through the house from dawn to dark. Today is the first time I’ve sat in my office chair, without needing to stay still in order to not roll over his old paws.

Clue was a lively, bouncy Basingi mix when he came to us. He tirelessly brought balls and rocks to be thrown, so that he could fetch them and return with enormous delight, and he guarded us well. I loved to see him bounding down through the woods with his curly tail high over his back.

Of late, he has been so very old. He could scarcely see or hear, and getting up and down was very difficult for him, yet he persevered in order to stay close beside me. He was my dog.

Here is the story of a life like Clue’s, told in the voice of another beloved dog. I hope you enjoy it.

His Apologies
by Rudyard Kipling

Master, this is Thy Servant. He is rising eight weeks old.
He is mainly Head and Tummy. His legs are uncontrolled.
But Thou hast forgiven his ugliness, and settled him on Thy knee…
Art Thou content with Thy Servant? He is *very* comfy with Thee.

Master, behold a Sinner! He hath committed a wrong.
He hath defiled Thy Premises through being kept in too long.
Wherefore his nose has been rubbed in the dirt and his self- respect has been bruised.
Master, pardon Thy Sinner, and see he is properly loosed.

Master, again Thy Sinner! This that was once Thy Shoe,
He has found and taken and carried aside, as fitting matter to chew.
Now there is neither blacking nor tongue, and the Housemaid has us in tow,
Master, remember Thy Servant is young, and tell her to let him go!

Master, extol Thy Servant, he has met a most Worthy Foe!
There has been fighting all over the Shop — and into the Shop also!
Till cruel umbrellas parted the strife (or I might have been choking him yet),
But Thy Servant has had the Time of his Life — and now shall we call on the vet?

Master, behold Thy Servant! Strange children came to play,
And because they fought to caress him, Thy Servant wentedst away.
But now that the Little Beasts have gone, he has returned to see
(Brushed — with his Sunday collar on) what they left over from tea.


Master, pity Thy Servant! He is deaf and three parts blind.
He cannot catch Thy Commandments. He cannot read Thy Mind.
Oh, leave him not to his loneliness; nor make him that kitten’s scorn.
He hath had no other God than Thee since the year that he was born.

Lord, look down on Thy Servant! Bad things have come to pass.
There is no heat in the midday sun, nor health in the wayside grass.
His bones are full of an old disease — his torments run and increase.
Lord, make haste with Thy Lightnings and grant him a quick release!


He was released today, 28 April 2009. Requiescat in pace, Clue. You were my sweetie.

6 Responses

  1. Janice,
    SO sorry to hear of Clue’s transition…and what a beautiful tribute you have given him. I am honored to have met him thus.

  2. Tami Lewis says:

    i am so very sorry. ~hugs~

  3. Suzanne says:

    I was so moved by your post. I have had several animals that grew old with me, and I have two senior dogs now. It is so difficult to let them go and the “one of a kind friend” memories are left with us, as you expressed so well. May they comfort you in the weeks to come.

  4. Beth says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing that sweet poem. I too had to release a dear old dog; Penny was nearly 15 years old when we said goodbye to her. Journaling what I recalled about her brought me some small measure of comfort. Maybe it will bring you comfort too.

    • Thank you all– it’s been so very odd without him. I’m sure you know what I mean– getting up carefully so you don’t step on him, then realizing he’s not there. Hearing a bark, the jingle of dog tags, and thinking he needs out… but he doesn’t. Journaling is is good way to remember dear ones and pets. Thank you all for commenting.

  5. Ki says:

    Hi Janice;

    I am sorry for your loss. May God bring you comfort and in due time, flood you with all the wonderful memories of your times together over the years.

    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted

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