Before I started trauma therapy I didn’t connect to people, not like I can do now, in any case, or for a longer time, not knowing whether we would move houses again, countries, towns. For the last 13 and a half years my pug Tommie was one of the closest beings I had- in happy times and times of grief. And that is all there is to it. I love this poem.
A Dog Has Died by Pablo Neruda
My dog has died.
I buried her in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.
Some day I’ll join her right there,
but now she’s gone with her shaggy coat,
her bad manners and her cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving her fan-like tail in friendship.
Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
Her friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
she never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of her hair or her mange,
she never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.
No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, she was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
she’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all her sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.
Ai, how many times have I envied her tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with her golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.
Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.
There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.
So now she’s gone and I buried her,
and that’s all there is to it.