18 Poems About Old Dogs to Cherish Our Time-Tested Companions

In the graceful journey of life, there is a special place reserved for our faithful, furry friends. Old dogs, with their graying muzzles and wise eyes, hold a unique charm and grace that only time can bestow. In this collection of heartfelt poems about old dogs, we celebrate the enduring love and cherished moments that come with aging dogs.

These loyal companions have been with us through the seasons, sharing our laughter and soothing our sorrows. Join us in honoring these time-tested companions as we explore the beauty and depth of the bond that grows stronger with each passing year.

My Old Dog’s Eyes by Mark Bird

Do you know where the time has gone?
My dog’s eyes ask of me
beyond her cloudy cataracts
I wonder what she sees

Do you dog-dream in memories
of ancient puppy days?
A thousand sticks, a million licks
A zillion words of praise

Do you remember all the smiles
you painted on my face?
Our favourite walks in Amsterdam
Our secret, special place

Do you recall that old park bench?
You’d fetch and I would throw
Through daffodils, through summer lakes
Through fallen leaves, through snow

Do you know, with your weak back legs
as seconds slip away
through your blind eyes and deafened ears?
I see and hear each day

Do you know that your winter years
are here and here to stay?
Sometimes it snows in April though
Next spring, I hope we’ll play

Walk With An Old Dog by Gayl Jokiel

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.

Walk With An Old Dog by Gayl Jokiel / Poems About Old Dogs

Old Dog by William Stafford

Toward the last in the morning she could not
get up, even when I rattled her pan.
I helped her into the yard, but she stumbled
and fell. I knew it was time.

The last night a mist drifted over the fields.
In the morning she would not raise her head–
the far, clear mountains we had walked
surged back to mind.

We looked a slow bargain: our days together
were the ones we had already had.
I gave her something the vet had given,
and patted her still, a good last friend.

Poem About Elderly Shelter Pets by Anonymous

One by One, they pass by my cage,
Too old, too worn, too broken, no way.
Way past his time, he can’t run and play.
Then they shake their heads slowly and go on their way.

A little old man, arthritic and sore,
It seems I am not wanted anymore.
I once had a home, I once had a bed,
A place that was warm, and where I was fed.
Now my muzzle is gray, and my eyes slowly fail.
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?

My family decided I didn’t belong,
I got in their way, my attitude was wrong.
Whatever excuse they made in their head,
Can’t justify how they left me for dead.
Now I sit in this cage, where day after day,
The younger dogs get adopted away.

When I had almost come to the end of my rope,
You saw my face, and I finally had hope.
You saw thru the gray, and the legs bent with age,
And felt I still had life beyond this cage.
You took me home, gave me food and a bed,
And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head.

We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low,
You love me so dearly, you want me to know.
I may have lived most of my life with another,
But you outshine them with a love so much stronger.
And I promise to return all the love I can give,
To you, my dear person, as long as I live.

I may be with you for a week, or for years,
We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears.
And when the time comes that God deems I must leave,
I know you will cry and your heart, it will grieve.
And when I arrive at the Bridge, all brand new,
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you.
And I will brag to all who will hear,
Of the person who made my last days so dear.

Divine Old Dog At The Gate by Jon Katz

The Divine Old Dog is restless tonight,
she circles and circles,
she licks at her paws,
she does not hear her name,
is confused and uncertain,
she is abashed at her accidents,
she tried to say,
but could not.
Are you at the gate,
great creature?,
are you proud, old girl,
tired of this
cold winter day, these human needs and dramas,
this winter world,
the cold makes your legs ache?
Divine Old Dogs accept the ways of the world,
the nature of life,
they come when they choose,
leave when they are ready,
they have all sorts of ways to tell
when it is time, and they always decide,
never us. I ask and ask.
Who will guard my door, and keep the
fire and water away?
Who will be a fence,
that keeps the cold wind away?
I will bow to you,
and let you pass,
I celebrate you Divine Old Dog,
you are one of the great spirits,
you have lived a great life,
in faith and devotion.
You did it. You kept the men away,
and protected her day and night,
until she felt safe,
you faced the world with her,
and barked and growled it into submission,
you stood at the fence of life,
and kept the darkness away.
your work is soon finished here,
your spirit seeks home,
and rest
by the blue lights along the cool stream,
warm days and soft and endless pastures,
rabbits to chase to the horizon
We will walk you to the gate,
but not beyond. No bridge
for you to cross, do not wait for us there,
you are free,
find your angels and dance with them
in the night sky.
Divine Old Dog,  the spirits
ride with you, and howl with you
at the bright moon.
I will not mourn for you,
I will smile at your memory,
for yours is a life filled with joy
and meaning, a cause for nothing,
but celebration,
and gratitude.

Divine Old Dog At The Gate by Jon Katz

The Divine Old Dog has slowed,
the chipmunks tease her every day,
they edge closer and closer,
run nearer than they ever dared before,
the rabbits dig deeper into their holes,
the groundhogs arrogantly waddle,
just a few yards away,
the Divine Old Dog
is not as quick as before, she cannot dig far.
But old dogs do learn new tricks,
and pride never weakens with age.
She lies down by the gate,
and closes her eyes, she looks
tired, confused, lost in sleep and dreams
the chipmunk stops and stares,
listens to the old dog’s sighs and moans,
and darts for the gate.
The Divine Old Dog opens an eye,
shoots out her paw,
and invites the chipmunk to the Dance Of The Angels,
where so many rabbits, chipmunks, groundhogs,
skunks, racoons and mice,
dance every night in the Crystal Ballroom,
to the light of the stars,
and the music of the barn swallows.
They are all on
her guest list for the ages.

An Old Dog’s Dreamings by Francis Duggan

In the backyard in the mid day sun on the concrete path he lay
Old Tim the dog is frail and old he’s seen a better day
He slept there in the mid day warmth and to him came the dream
That he was young and fit again and full of self esteem.

He raced along the sunlit field pursuing the quick brown hare
The warm wind blowing from the south was ruffling his brown hair
A three years old dog in his prime the hare dodged left and right
His master Jimmy cheered him on and laughed loud in delight.

The hare raced through a rushy patch and up the bushy height
And he made his clean get away when Tim of him lost sight
He returned to his master Jim who gently stroked his head
It’s not your fault he got away ‘you good dog Tim’ he said.

He awoke from his pleasant dream the birds sang on the trees
And on the flower patch in the yard the small brown honey bees.
Were busily gathering nectar their droning soft and low
And from their hive in neighbour’s yard were buzzing to and fro.

He dozed again and as he slept he had another dream
He was a young dog rising two and strong and fit and lean
The bull terrier from across the way attacked him on the street
But he pinned the bully to the bitumen and victory tasted sweet.

His master Jimmy felt so proud he said ‘you good dog Tim’
I did not think that you would prove more than a match for him
This was a moment he’d recall when looking back in time
He was the top dog in the block and near his glorious prime.

He woke again on the back yard the sun was shining bright
And butterflies were flitting in the beautiful sunlight
Just for a moment he’d been young and older dogs seemed slow
And he was in his marvellous prime ten glorious years ago.

He dozed again another dream the night was black as pitch
As he copulated in the grove with a dark collie bitch
He’d fought another dog for her and had frightened him away
She stayed with him all through the night and she left him in the day.

He woke again this time he stood and down the path walked slow
And on the flower patch in the yard the bees droned soft and low
His once brown muzzle now quite gray the years in him now show
And he was in his marvelous prime ten glorious years ago.

Old Jack The Dog by Francis Duggan

He was hit by a car as a puppy which left him in a lot of pain
And though he did recover from his injury the handicap he did retain
His hind legs they did not seem quite right and he could not run at a fast pace
But he was a good dog to work cattle and he kept the bull in his place.

A big brown dog he was rather hairy and he was a hard one to beat
I see him in many a battle and he never knew of defeat
But old age slowly crept upon him his muzzle it looked rather gray
And there was much grieving in our house on the day that old Jack passed away.

Old Jack was a gallant old war dog from a challenge he never backed down
He beat every dog that he fought with on our side of old Millstreet Town
Yet he was so gentle with people and always so relaxed and quiet
And if other dogs him did not challenge then Jack he would not start a fight.

More than four decades have passed since old Jack died but him i remember today
Devoted to us when we were young and admirable in every way
He was such a rugged old fellow well known around the Countryside
And it was a sad day in our house on the day that our cattle dog died.

What do you do when your dog grows old? by Jackie Short-Nguyen

What do you do when your dog grows old?
When his feet are tired and the pads are worn?
When your words of praise are muffled in his ears,
and his eyes are milky from their years of use?
When his face is grizzled and his color isn’t as vibrant?
You love him.
You rub the feet that dutifully carried him by your side.
You speak your praises more loudly,
so everybody else can hear the words that he can’t.
You guide him the way he has guided you,
and prevent him from getting lost as you were before he came along.
You kiss his muzzle and admire the wisdom that has beset him in his later years.
And when it comes time to put him to his final rest,
knowing that an irreplaceable part of your heart will follow him,
you will do so knowing that you loved him.
And he loved you more.

What do you do when your dog grows old? by Jackie Short-Nguyen / Poems About Old Dogs

Old Dog by Sue Ellen Thompson

They haul her in across the frozen yard
for supper on a carpet scrap. Overweight,
gums speckled, slack, she lets herself be raised
and lowered, urged to eat and praised
for doing what she must to keep her furred flanks
heaving heavily in what is mostly sleep.
When I get old, my mother said once,
toss me in a snowbank. Now she taps
the colored capsules on her flattened palm
until the old dog lifts her nose and sends
her tongue out in a slow unfurling sideways.
At night, my father lugs her by the collar out
to the frost-rimed slope behind the shed
and bracing her hindquarters with his feet,
presses gently on her bladder. Before
the first snow fell, he dug a hole for her
up by the rusted harrow where the Christmas trees
are dumped, the last wild place in all
their five tamed acres. Now she rehearses
by the wood stove in a doze so deep
she doesn’t hear the vacuum cleaner prowling
all around her, or the snap of her leash
against my father’s thigh, or down the hall,
the teenage cousins playing their guitars,
singing how they’re going to live forever
and when they die it will be for love,
by which they mean despite it.

His Apologies by Rudyard Kipling

Master, this is Thy Servant. He is rising eight weeks old.
He is mainly Head and Tummy. His legs are uncontrolled.
But Thou hast forgiven his ugliness, and settled him on Thy knee…
Art Thou content with Thy Servant? He is very comfy with Thee.

Master, behold a Sinner! He hath committed a wrong.
He hath defiled Thy Premises through being kept in too long.
Wherefore his nose has been rubbed in the dirt and his self- respect has been bruised.
Master, pardon Thy Sinner, and see he is properly loosed.

Master, again Thy Sinner! This that was once Thy Shoe,
He has found and taken and carried aside, as fitting matter to chew.
Now there is neither blacking nor tongue, and the Housemaid has us in tow,
Master, remember Thy Servant is young, and tell her to let him go!

Master, extol Thy Servant, he has met a most Worthy Foe!
There has been fighting all over the Shop — and into the Shop also!
Till cruel umbrellas parted the strife (or I might have been choking him yet),
But Thy Servant has had the Time of his Life — and now shall we call on the vet?

Master, behold Thy Servant! Strange children came to play,
And because they fought to caress him, Thy Servant wentedst away.
But now that the Little Beasts have gone, he has returned to see
(Brushed — with his Sunday collar on) what they left over from tea.

Master, pity Thy Servant! He is deaf and three parts blind.
He cannot catch Thy Commandments. He cannot read Thy Mind.
Oh, leave him not to his loneliness; nor make him that kitten’s scorn.
He hath had no other God than Thee since the year that he was born.

Lord, look down on Thy Servant! Bad things have come to pass.
There is no heat in the midday sun, nor health in the wayside grass.
His bones are full of an old disease — his torments run and increase.
Lord, make haste with Thy Lightnings and grant him a quick release!

Rainbow Bridge by Anonymous

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

A Dogs Soul by Anonymous

Every dog must have a soul
Somewhere deep inside
Where all his hurts and grievances
Are buried with his pride.
Where he decides the good and bad,
The wrong way from the right,
And where his judgement carefully
Is hidden from our sight.
A dog must have a secret place
Where every thought abides,
A sort of close acquaintance that
He trusts in and confides.
And when accused unjustly for
Himself, He cannot speak,
Rebuked, He finds within his soul
The comfort he must seek.
He’ll love, tho’he is unloved,
And he’ll serve tho’badly used,
And one kind word will wipe away
The times when he’s abused.
Altho’ his heart may break in two
His love will still be whole,
Because God gave to every dog
An understanding Soul!

The Power of the Dog by Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie–
Perfect passsion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find–it’s your own affair–
But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long–
So why in–Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

For Jean by Michelle Santon

Today I woke up, knowing what the day would bring.
I would lose my little girl,
To a disease causing you so much pain.
I looked into your deep brown eyes,
And I knew what I must do.
When they looked at me so lovingly,
I knew you were ready to go, too.
I held you in my lap,
So close to my heart.
I felt your heart beat,
I didn’t want to part.
I steadied myself as I got out of the car,
Carrying you with such care,
The tears they flowed,
All over you nose, but this I didn’t care.
I watched the clock,
I watched you,
I listened to each breath
That you took.
When our name was called,
I held you tight,
Oh, my sweet Jean,
I so wanted to fight!!!
Your little body was so frail and small.
But you kept your eyes on my face,
And wagged your tail to let me know,
You were aware of me.
The first injection was given to you,
And I watched you slowly fade to sleep.
My hand rested on your heart,
To make sure I felt your last beat.
When you started snoring,
I knew it was time,
I turned you over,
To watch you die.
It happened quickly,
You were gone.
You were at peace,
This I know.
Jeannie, you were not with us,
For long enough I don’t think!!!
But I tried to give you all I could,
From bones to lots of treats.
I prayed for you everyday,
That your health would not fail.
You were here much longer than I could have ever hoped,
So freely you must go.
Go and be happy, with Samantha by your side.
Wait for me to join you,
As I live out my life.
Just know that you were loved, my sweet girl,
By your forever Mommie down below.
I wish you could have been here longer,
But I’m just glad we got to have you at all.
Rest in Peace sweet girl.

Senior Dog by Kyla Jones

A treasure trove discarded,
Just because the chest looked old.
Opal eyes, silver fur
And heart of antique gold.

A soul of deep devotion breathes
Within that form grown frail,
And happiness still dances,
In that joyous, crooked tail.

Your eyes don’t register the glow
Of sunlight from above,
But see, with sharp acuity,
The inner lights of love.

Your ears don’t hear the words of love,
Whispered in the dark,
But your heart hears every syllable
And answers in your bark.

I cannot make you young again,
And I’m not sure I would.
Your years have made you who you are,
A treasure, bright and good.

Senior Dog by Kyla Jones / Poems About Old Dogs

Old Dogs Do Not Die by Anonymous

We have a secret, you and I,
That no one else shall know,
For who but I can see you lie,
Each night, in fireglow?
And who but I can reach my hand
Before we go to bed,
And feel the living warmth of you
And touch your silken head?
And only I walk woodland paths,
And see, ahead of me,
Your small form racing with the wind,
So young again, and free.
And only I can see you swim
In every brook I pass…
And, when I call, no one but I
Can see the bending grass…

Two Old Dogs by Jeff Pillars

Two old dogs out doing chores.
One on two legs, one on four.
Side by side, they water and feed.
Caring for others daily need.

Two old dogs make their rounds
Well worn paths on familiar ground.
To greet the day or say goodnight
Side by side, their friendship tight.

Two old dogs with dish and pail.
Singing songs and wagging tail.
Slower now, than in the past
But that just makes the good time last.

Two old dogs, both muzzles grey.
Aging joints sometimes curb play.
Companionship a simple joy.
His old dad; Dad’s old boy.

Two old dogs, and then one day
One old dog has gone away.
The other left to carry on
Two legs to barn and field and pond.

One old dog, eyes full of tears
Can still feel his old friend walking near
A reminder in the morning dew.
Just one path, instead of two.

When one old dog has no more chores
And walks through heaven’s golden doors
He’ll see that face he can’t forget.
A kindred spirit, not just a pet.

So many old dogs, made whole; anew
Reunion of a loyal crew.
Never again to be apart.
Many souls. But just one heart.

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Poems About Old Dogs

Now, it is your turn,
I would like to hear back from you!

Let us know what your favorite poem about old dogs is, or maybe you have a poem that I could add to this post. Take care!

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