Stray dogs are poetry in making – they’ve multitudes within them. A longing to discover love, a stinging pain to reunite (if they were abandoned) or a philosophic quaintness to just survive the day. Here are a few stray dog poems that try to bring to light the struggles and strife of life on the street.
With a fistful of rare exceptions, nearly everybody I like is a quadruped. One of the exceptions is Virve, my friend from Sweden who toured India last year and fell in love with the country’s fauna and flora.
Virve presents a poem she penned on seeing a friendly street dog in Varanasi. Over to her:
I’ve named the poem “The Indian Street Dog”, as I drew inspiration for it by seeing a loving street dog in Varanasi. With this poem, I wish for people to reflect on the greatness in stray animals everywhere. Detested by so many, yet these dogs nourish the hope for love and affection. I’ve met so many of them and felt the longing of their souls. My Dagi, who lived as a street dog in Portugal for many years, means everything to me. I don’t even remember how days without her were! If only people would open their hearts to the street dogs, then everyone would find themselves forever touched by these misunderstood angels…
This road is not mine to take,
But to follow,
As destiny paves my way.
These streets know my name,
As I know theirs.
They have carried me near and afar;
Waved me goodbye when hope has called me,
And welcomed me upon returning with my shattered dreams.
One day, I will take to the skies,
Like the birds I watch from the stairs at the temple.
I will embrace the Forgotten ones,
Breathe life into the hearts of all human beings,
And make every road lead to Home.
The below poem from Andrew Siegele looks at an abandoned dog’s shock, turmoil and heartbreak upon being disregarded by his master.
I am a stray. I’m worth loving.
“Woof!” I said as you started the car,
“Hooray!” I said it’s my first time afar.
The scents we were passing were all new to me,
For it was my first introduction to this mystery.
As we got out of the car I embraced you with joy,
After all you remembered to bring my favourite toy!
You threw it once or twice, of which I retrieved,
But on the third it seemed you were ready to leave.
You threw it long and hard and I chased it like lightning,
But when I turned to bring it back I saw a sight quite frightening.
I gripped my toy hard as I tried to comprehend
What it was I did wrong to make our relationship end.
You walked back to your car as I sat there still loyal.
Why am I subservient and you so royal?
Your engine started, and you peeled out into the night,
You didn’t even care about my overwhelming fright.
As I sat in my pose determined you would come back,
The sun faded behind me while the surroundings turned black.
Day after day I stayed in that park,
Lying… waiting… too feeble to bark.
As I lay there dying thinking of you master,
I asked myself how I got into this horrifying disaster.
With my last breath of life, I whispered your name
Then I collapsed in a heap overrun by pain.
Why didn’t you love me master? Why didn’t you care?
Had I no significance, was I just a clump of hair?
I stayed there master and I waited for you
I guess taking care of me was just too much to do.
I’m gone now master, no more You-and-I
But what I can’t figure out is why you didn’t even say goodbye…
I know I’m scared and nervous and shy
You might just want to walk on by
But please look again, please talk to me
And see the boy I’d like to be
I’ve never had a life of fun
I’ve never had the chance to run
To chase my ball till I’m all puffed out
To learn that people don’t always shout
I might not wag my tail at youBuddy, Fionna Duncan
But look in my eyes, look closer too
There’s life in them, and hope and joy
And I’d love to be your special boy
A rescue dog will have a tale to tell
It may be sad, or of a life of Hell
It may be a story of a once-loved pup
Who found herself homeless when a marriage broke up
Or a faithful companion, who’s owner passed on
And the poor little dog doesn’t know where they’ve gone.
Or of a dog that’s been beaten, never had the chance to ‘live’
And yet gain his trust – he’ll have so much love to give.
A pup that grew out of the cute, cuddly stage,
Has grown big and unruly and is now at ‘that age’
So he gets given away, it’s such a shame
When it’s the lack of training that’s really to blame.
Some rescue dogs may be quite old
Just need a nice home, out of the cold
A warm cosy bed, for weary old bones
No dog should spend its last days on its own.
Rescue dogs can be misunderstood
Often seen as damaged goods
But a ‘pre-owned’ dog has much to offer
And compared to a pup, can be far less bother
A rescue dog may not know how to play
But a little bit of kindness should show them the way.
Some rescue dogs will have great credentials,
Others show promise and heaps of potential.
Some need guidance, to learn how to trust
For others, some training will be a must
But what you put in, you’ll get back tenfold
A loyal friend, with a heart of gold
He may be pure, cross or mixed breed
But one thing’ for sure-he’ll be in need
Of a loving home, a new ‘mum’ or ‘dad’
Surely with this, he’ll stop being so sad.
A rescue dog is a breed apart
Please find space for one in your heart.
Know of any other moving prose or poetry that celebrates the resilience and love of a stray dog? Please share such poems in the comments below and please remember: Adopt, Don’t Shop!