4 stray dog poems on love and loneliness

stray dog poem, street dog poem
Stray dog poems – a little compassion is all they need. Image: Evan Clark

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.

Stray dog poems

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…

The Indian Street Dog

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.

stray dog poem

Poems on stray dogs

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…

Also read Just a dog… and Bukowski on dogs

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 you
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

Buddy,  Fionna Duncan

Rescue dog poem by Karen Folkes

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!

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11 thoughts on “4 stray dog poems on love and loneliness”

    1. I love my rescue who was abandoned and turned up at a fast food restaurant. My son found her, she was chipped, contacted owner. They did not want her. Was dumped because they did not want to put her in shelter because their name would be on list. My son had her for for a year, his rescues did not get along with her. Florida experienced hurricane, tough time, lots of upset. Was rough so after a year, he asked if I could take her. Refusing an animal was never an option. He DROVE 30 STRAIGHT HOURS TO MAKE SURE SHE WAS NOT TRAUMATIZED. From Florida to Connecticut. Florida and other southern states do not care, yet ct and other states in the northeast take advantage and make money in scooping up puppy mill animals, claiming some mixed breed. Something has to stop. And she is the BEST DOG EVER 3 years later. I love her so much. Well trained. This dog was amazing from day one! This poem to expressed my blessings to all who have opened their homes to the ‘ unwanted ‘ And for the record I have had dogs for over 50 years, along with my husband. Reading these poems made me cry! From love! Plus, covid had people adopt these poor animals out of loneliness and now shelters are full because they returned them. Too busy because they went back to work. Do you do that with your human children? And they do it with birds! THAT LIVE OVER 100 YEARS. The pet shops should be fined and that goes for any pet. Animals are Love not money


    A part of my heart belongs to these beautiful souls who live life on the streets..Most never know a hug, a real warm meal, a bed, a home…but still have so much to give to us humans..
    A lovely tribute to THE INDIAN STREET DOG

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