Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Dog's Last Wishes

It seems like Mom and I keep hearing about dogs dying lately, and it's very sad for their humans and for their doggy companions and for everybody else around them.  I don't know why so many dogs are dying.  I just wish they would stop doing it!  But anyway, until they do, here is a very nice piece of writing that was done by Mr. Eugene O'Neill, who was a famous American playwright.  He had a dalmatian that he loved a whole lot, and when his dalmatian died, he wrote this.  But you can replace "dalmatian" with any other breed of your choice, and it will work just as well. 


I, SILVERDENE EMBLEM O'NEILL (familiarly known to my family, friends, and acquaintances as Blemie), because the burden of my years and infirmities is heavy upon me, and I realize the end of my life is near, do hereby bury my last will and testament in the mind of my Master. He will not know it is there until after I am dead. Then, remembering me in his loneliness, he will suddenly know of this testament, and I ask him then to inscribe it as a memorial to me.

I have little in the way of material things to leave. Dogs are wiser than men. They do not set great store upon things. They do not waste their days hoarding property. They do not ruin their sleep worrying about how to keep the objects they have, and to obtain the objects they have not. There is nothing of value I have to bequeath except my love and my faith. These I leave to all those who have loved me, to my Master and Mistress, who I know will mourn me most, to Freeman who has been so good to me, to Cyn and Roy and Willie and Naomi and -- But if I should list all those who have loved me, it would force my Master to write a book. Perhaps it is vain of me to boast when I am so near death, which returns all beasts and vanities to dust, but I have always been an extremely lovable dog.

I ask my Master and Mistress to remember me always, but not to grieve for me too long. In my life I have tried to be a comfort to them in time of sorrow, and a reason for added joy in their happiness. It is painful for me to think that even in death I should cause them pain. Let them remember that while no dog has ever had a happier life (and this I owe to their love and care for me), now that I have grown blind and deaf and lame, and even my sense of smell fails me so that a rabbit could be right under my nose and I might not know, my pride has sunk to a sick, bewildered humiliation. I feel life is taunting me with having over-lingered my welcome. It is time I said good-bye, before I become too sick a burden on myself and on those who love me. It will be sorrow to leave them, but not a sorrow to die. Dogs do not fear death as men do. We accept it as part of life, not as something alien and terrible which destroys life.

What may come after death, who knows? I would like to believe with those of my fellow Dalmatians who are devout Mohammedans, that there is a Paradise where one is always young and full-bladdered; where all the day one dillies and dallies with an amorous multitude of houris, beautifully spotted; where jack rabbits that run fast but not too fast (like the houris) are as the sands of the desert; where each blissful hour is mealtime; where in long evenings there are a million fireplaces with logs forever burning, and one curls oneself up and blinks into the flames and nods and dreams, remembering the old brave days on earth, and the love of one's Master and Mistress.  I am afraid this is too much for even such a dog as I am to expect.  But peace, at least, is certain.  Peace and long rest for weary old heart and head and limbs, and eternal sleep in the earth I have loved so well.  Perhaps, after all, this is best.
One last request I earnestly make. I have heard my Mistress say, "When Blemie dies we must never have another dog. I love him so much I could never love another one." Now I would ask her, for love of me, to have another. It would be a poor tribute to my memory never to have a dog again. What I would like to feel is that, having once had me in the family, now she cannot live without a dog! I have never had a narrow jealous spirit. I have always held that most dogs are good (and one cat, the black one I have permitted to share the living room rug during the evenings, whose affection I have tolerated in a kindly spirit, and in rare sentimental moods, even reciprocated a trifle). Some dogs, of course, are better than others. Dalmatians, naturally, as everyone knows, are best. So I suggest a Dalmatian as my successor. He can hardly be as well bred or as well mannered or as distinguished and handsome as I was in my prime. My Master and Mistress must not ask the impossible. But he will do his best, I am sure, and even his inevitable defects will help by comparison to keep my memory green. To him I bequeath my collar and leash and my overcoat and raincoat, made to order in 1929 at Hermes in Paris. He can never wear them with the distinction I did, walking around the Place Vendôme, or later along Park Avenue, all eyes fixed on me in admiration; but again I am sure he will do his utmost not to appear a mere gauche provincial dog. Here on the ranch, he may prove himself quite worthy of comparison, in some respects. He will, I presume, come closer to jack rabbits than I have been able to in recent years. And for all his faults, I hereby wish him the happiness I know will be his in my old home.
One last word of farewell, Dear Master and Mistress. Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also with happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long happy life with you: "Here lies one who loved us and whom we loved." No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail.

Tao House, December 17th, 1940


  1. My....what a testament. I'm a bit in awe of this writing. Lovely.

  2. Well, I wish I could say I wrote it myself, but if I said that, I would be lying, and I try not to do that too often. LOL If I could write like Mr. O'Neill, I guess I could be a famous playwright, too.
    Love, Piper

  3. Have I shared this with you?

    It's a bunch of old dogs re-living their glory days. Mom and Digital did this and a friend of mom's posted it. Her name is Kim too which can cause some confusion. My mom says humans watching this need kleenix.

    The first 2 dogs on there have passed on.

    Digital the brindlewonderkid is still going strong and keeps honing in on *MY* agility time. I keep telling him it's now all about *ME*, but he doesn't hear so well.

    --Zest, superstar in training

  4. Dear Zest,
    I liked that video a bunch because it shows that old dogs can still do all that neat stuff, except maybe slower. I'm glad that Digital still has what it takes. You need to clone your mom so that she can do agility stuff with both of you at the same time. Just a suggestion.
    Your friend, Piper

  5. I've just lust my furry angel a week ago, a yellow lab called Milo. My friend, faith companion, dream dog :'( What I just read is beautiful. I keep on mourning him. With him, a part of my heart and an extension of my soul was lost. Reading this has been a beatiful experience

    1. Dear Issildur,
      I am very sorry that you lost your beloved Milo. I'm glad you found this blog entry to read, and that it made you feel a little bit better.
      Sincerely, Piper