My 21yr old daughter, Kya, lost her beloved nearly 13yr old dog, Jupiter yesterday after a short but devastating illness. She and her mother had to make the terrible, heart-rending decision to cease heroic treatment & allow the Vet to let him pass peacefully. The pain of the last week is etched in my daughter’s tear-stained face. This is the first time that she has experienced loss & grief as an adult. I want to post what she placed on her Facebook Profile, followed by a poem I sent to her to try and put some words to what I thought she might be feeling.
Here then is her post:
“The last few days have been torturous and today was the hardest day of my life. I had to let my best friend, my boy, go to cross the rainbow bridge. My Jupiter, booping, juping, ju-ping-ping. The universe selected our lives to intertwine and the day we saw you, in the centre of a gated row of barking, jumping dogs, sat you, a quiet boy wagging his tail with big gorgeous, soulful eyes – we knew you were our boy right then and that we would be connected, heart and soul, for life. I am so grateful to have shared more than half my lifetime with such an amazing, beautiful, loyal best friend. Our souls will forever be interconnected, our memories forever cherished. I will love you endlessly and miss you so so deeply. I will see you again, waiting at the rainbow bridge. You are such a good boy, my boy, my Jupiter.” ❤️
And here is the poem by Lord Byron, inscribed on the grave of his beloved dog, “Boatswain”:
Lord Byron (1788-1824), born George Gordon Byron was an Anglo-Saxon poet. He was a flamboyant, eccentric character, reviled and revered at the same time. He was regarded as one of the greatest European poets and remains widely read.
One of Lord Byron’s best known works, “Epitaph to a dog”, was written for his Newfoundland dog ‘Boatswain’.
Boatswain (1803-1808), Lord Byron’s Newfoundland dog, died of rabies while Byron was living at Newstead, and it is here that Boatswain lays buried.
Lord Byron wrote the following epitaph in honour of his faithful friend:
“Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
BOATSWAIN, a DOG,
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803,
and died at Newstead Nov 18th, 1808.”
“When some proud son of man returns to earth,
Unknown by glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And stories urns record that rests below.
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master’s own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonoured falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth –
While man, vain insect, hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
Oh man, thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power –
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!
By nature vile, ennoble but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye, who perchance behold this simple urn,
Pass on – it honours none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one – and here he lies.”
How hard we strive to push from our minds thoughts of losing or departing from those we truly love. It’s one of life’s hardest challenges.