My faithful old dog lies at my feet
beside me, hardly breathing.
I watch for signs of life.
I pray for signs of life.
And then she twitches
and in her dream she’s running
chasing rabbits in the park.
And I heave a sigh of relief.
If I were braver and stronger,
if I weren’t so fond of her,
if I thought I could live life without her,
if I were less selfish,
if I knew how she actually feels,
I could make that hard decision
and take her on her final trip
to the vet.
She cannot hear, can hardly see,
cannot walk far any longer,
but while she still can hobble
round the block beside me,
while she still can enjoy her food,
still can bark at the cats next door
or at the dogs across the road,
there’s still some quality of life
in my old dog yet.
How can I make that final decision?
Maybe one night she will die in her sleep
as she’s dreaming about chasing rabbits,
and I will be left all alone to weep.