Walk with an old dog
Because you will not be forever,
Hope against time though I may,
I paint your picture in my memory,
Eyes blue with age, muzzle gone gray.

Because you walked with me in Springtime,
Puppy-clumsy, running free.
As you grew, we grew together-
You became a part of me.

Because you shared with me my sorrows,
Not understanding- simply there.
Often spurring me to laughter--
My friend, you know how much I care.

Because the years have slowed your fleetness,
Though your spirit still is strong.
I promise I will take more time now,
So that you can go along.

Because you do not fear the future,
Living only in the now,
I draw strength from your example-
Yet time keeps slipping by somehow.

Because the day will soon be coming
When I will no longer see
You rise to greet me-but in memory
You will always walk with me.

The lovely sturdiness--- the dignity.
And when upon that infinitely dark
And unfamiliar way I, too, must go,
I shall not be afraid---full well I know
These things await me: your triumphant bark--
Rush of impetuous paws in a swift race--
And a warm, eager tongue against my face!

by Gayl Jokiel

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