Remembering Niko

Remembering the journey

Pet Loss Poems

with 41 comments

Here is a collection of some of my favorite pet loss poems. In the weeks before Niko died, when I knew we were close, I read “The Last Battle” over and over, knowing I’d have to make the choice to let him go. These poems helped me a great deal.

I started the poem “Severing the Tie” the day after I let him go and finished it many months later.

Beautiful Niko in a patch of sun – August 2008



THE LAST BATTLE (aka If It Should Be) – Author Unknown

If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this  last battle can’t be won.

You will be sad I understand,
But don’t let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
When the time comes,
Please, let me go.

Take me to where my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me until the end.
And hold me firm and speak to me,
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree,
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don’t grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do
We’ve been so close – we two – these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.


SEVERING THE TIE – Bettina Markowitz

It hurts to be the one
That had to make the choice
Your life rested in my hands
I had to be your voice

I hope you will forgive me
I had to sever the tie
I knew you wouldn’t leave me
You would never say goodbye

Our bond will never be broken
I know this to be true
And when I leave this earth
I have you to look forward to

For now I can only tell you
That I miss you dearly my friend
I’m learning to smile through the days
But you know it’s only pretend

I still see you when I close my eyes
And feel you through and through
This empty place inside my heart
Can be filled by only you


I ONLY WANTED YOU– Author Uknown

They say memories are golden
well maybe that is true.
I never wanted memories,
I only wanted you.

A million times I needed you,
a million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you
you never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place
no one could ever fill.

If tears could build a stairway
and heartache make a lane,
I’d walk the path to heaven
and bring you back again.

Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same.
But as we are called one by one,
the chain will link again.



I know that it must be different,
now that I am no longer there.
I realize how much I was loved
and how all of you did care.

I know it will be hard at first
when you look around for me.
Expecting to find me in my bed
or beside my favorite tree.

Someday you will begin to see
although it’ll take some time,
the happy times you shared with me,
the memories are yours and mine.

I’ll remember you, my friends,
and how much you meant to me.
So please don’t grieve and don’t be sad,
it was just my time to leave.

Reference: This poem was written by Kim, from Jacobi to Denise, one week after his passing, as “A note from Jacobi


I AM NOT THERE – Various sources

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.



I saw you gently weeping as you looked through photographs
You paused for just a moment at one that made you laugh.

But as you turned more pages the tears began to flow
You whispered that you missed me but I want you to know;

I softly licked those stinging tears that down your cheeks did fall
I want to help you understand I haven’t left at all.

On those days that you are overcome with sorrow, pain and grief
I rest my head upon your leg to offer some relief.

When you take our walking path I’ve seen you turn around
Because I know you surely heard my paws upon the ground.

At night while you are sleeping I snuggle at your side
You stroke my fur as you touch that place where I used to lie.

You said it’s just your heart playing tricks upon your mind
But rest assured I’m really there, my spirit’s left behind.

I know your heart is hurting; it’s like an open sore
You think my life has ended and you won’t see me anymore.

But for those of us bound tight by love, death is not the curtain call;
It’s really the eternal beginning that waits for us all



When tomorrow starts without me
And I’m not there to see,
The sun will rise and find your eyes,
All filled with tears for me.

I wish so much you wouldn’t cry
The way you did today
Remembering how I’d lay my head
In your lap that special way.

I know how much you love me
As much as I love you
And each time that you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too

But when tomorrow starts without me
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name
And petted me with her hand

She said my place was ready
In Heaven far above
And that I’d have to leave behind
All those I dearly love

But, as I turned to heel away
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life I never thought
That I would have to die.

I had so much to live for
So many sits and downs to do
It seemed almost impossible
That I was leaving you.

I thought about our lives together,
I know you must be sad,
I thought of all the love we shared
And all the fun we had.

Remember how I’d nudge your hand,
And poke you with my nose
The Frisbee I would gladly chase,
The bad guy, I’d “bark and hold”.

If I could relive yesterday
Just even for a while,
I’d wag my tail and kiss you,
Just so I could see you smile

But, then I fully realized,
That this could never be;
For emptiness and memories,
Will take the place of me

And when I thought of treats and toys
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you and when I did
My dog-heart filled with sorrow

I’ve entered into eternity,
And how it welcomes you,
Today my life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew

I promise no tomorrow
But today will always last;
For you see, each day’s the same day
There’s no longing for the past

So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don’t think we’re far apart
For every time you think of me,
I’m right there, in your heart.


MAY I GO – by Susan A. Jackson

Do you think the time is right?
May I say goodbye to pain filled days and endless lonely nights?

I’ve lived my life and done my best, an example tried to be.
So can I take that step beyond, and set my spirit free?

I didn’t want to go at first, I fought with all my might.
But something seems to draw me now to a warm and loving light.

I want to go, I really do; it’s difficult to stay.
But I will try as best I can to live just one more day.

To give you time to care for me and share your love and fears.
I know you’re sad and afraid, because I see your tears.

I’ll not be far, I promise that, and hope you’ll always know,
that my spirit will be close to you wherever you may go.

Thank you so for loving me. You know I love you too,
and that’s why it’s hard to say goodbye and end this life with you.

So hold me now just one more time and let me hear you say,
because you care so much for me, you’ll let me go today.



So this is where we part, my Friend,
and you’ll run on, around the bend.
Gone from sight, but not from mind,
new pleasures there you’ll surely find.

I will go on, I’ll find the strength,
life measures quality, not length.
One long embrace before you leave,
share one last look, before I grieve.

There are others, that much is true,
but they be they, and they aren’t you.
And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought,
Will remember well all you’ve taught.

Your place I’ll hold, you will be missed,
the fur I stroked, the nose I kissed.
And as you journey to your final rest,
take this with you…I loved you best.



We were so very close, we two
but I had to let you go
I hope that you can understand
it was because I loved you so.
No more pain, no aching limbs
no earthly ties that bind
No dimming eyes, no sleepless nights
you’ve left them all behind
I lost you many months ago,
and gained a broken heart
Yet I feel you close to me
although we are apart
Sometimes when I’m all alone,
I feel you by my side,
As if to try and comfort me,
through all the nights I’ve cried
I thought I saw you here today,
out the corner of my eye,
Felt soft brown fur against my skin,
heard the faintest sigh.


I miss you so much, my four-legged friend
I ask myself each day, if the pain will ever end
Your loss is so hard, for one person to bear
Because we were a team, an inseparable pair

You were by my side, when I got up each day
Waiting so patiently, to go out to play
You were there each night, when I got home
Waiting to go to the park, where you could roam

You always knew, if I was having a bad day
So you’d snuggle up close, and try to get me to play
If that didn’t work, you’d put your head in my lap
Then make yourself comfortable, and take a nap

One way or another, you would brighten my day
Like only you could, you had a special way
You gave me a lifetime, of memories to hold
Through all the years ahead, till I am gray and old

I promise I’ll see you, again one day
When we’ll be together again, to go run and play
Your loss is a cross, I will just have to bear
Because you and I know, we were an inseparable pair

WE HAVE A SECRET – 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 fire glow?

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.

I MISS YOU – Tanya Lord

I miss you visiting favorite places
I miss you going to new spaces

I miss you late into the night
I miss you at dawn’s first light

I miss you when sadness is around
I miss you when joy is found

I miss you when the lights come on
I miss you when the day is done

I miss you on your special day
I miss you like it was yesterday

I miss you at no special time
I miss you today with every rhyme

pet loss poems ~ pet-loss poems ~ pet grief ~ pet loss poetry~pet-loss poetry


Written by rememberingniko

January 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm

41 Responses

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  1. Yours and Niko’s story is truly a love story. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute you have created. Niko was a very special and handsome boy!


    March 11, 2011 at 4:04 am

    • Thank you Sharon. I know you are in the early stages of grief over your Millie and your letters to her are beautiful. (I love the locket ring too!) Seeing as though you truly understand the bond between dog and person, your kind words mean a lot.


      March 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm

  2. Found your story looking for words for the loss of our second dog in two months. I posted the first one to my friends. I want to thank you for sharing


    November 26, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    • Located you story of the website, loss my Snooter yesterday and it very hard….Thank you for sharing

      Bev D

      May 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm

  3. Beautiful tribute to a beautiful heart…Niko still finds a way to share love! Thank you!

    Lab Lover

    June 18, 2013 at 7:54 pm

  4. I know how yall fill i just lost one of my bestfriends yesterday. And i miss him dearly… Teddy i will always remember you and love you!!


    July 30, 2013 at 6:42 am

  5. I lost my beautiful Princess two years ago. I still grieve so today. I have another little one now, and I love her a lot, but Princess is always in my heart. Just yesterday, I called my new little one by the name of Princess. My Stepson lost his dog yesterday and I came across your tributes today, and I have cried all day.
    I am so sorry for your loss, but the years fly by and soon than you know, you and Niko will be together again.
    May God Be With you. Karen


    September 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm

  6. Thank you for these poems. I lost my not quite 5 year old Doberman, Neka, to cancer on Aug. 31st. I’ve put “I Loved You Best” beside a picture of her beautiful face. I miss her so terribly…. I will miss her always. So sorry for your loss of Niko


    September 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    • My beautiful sweet girl Chili passed on April 29th of this year. I think about her constantly and miss her so very, very much. It is amazing the connection we form with some beings, human or animal, and how those connections change our lives forever. I feel for each person who has lost their fur companion. I know that I have found some comfort in the poems I’ve found on line, and in finding others who understand the loss of our little loved ones. Despite the pain, we were so lucky to have them in our lives.


      October 5, 2013 at 7:02 pm

  7. We had to put my 14 year old black lab to sleep yesterday. I thought I was prepared and ready. I’m finding it so much more of a struggle than I thought it would be. I’m only 22 so I spent the majority of my life with him. And it’s been so hard letting go of that. Thank you for these poems.


    October 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    • I am so sorry for your loss. There is no ‘being ready’ to say goodbye to a friend. My sincere condolences.


      October 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm

  8. Thank you very much for these beautiful poems. I lost my beloved kitty Mitzi after 18 years to chronic renal failure; I have other pets, but there was something so special about her. She really told me the poem May I Go? and put her little paw on my foot one day and looked up at me and told me: ‘I’m done’; it was a Sunday. I promised her if she could make it one more day, I would take her to the vet to put her down. When I took her in, it wasn’t her regular vet, but a colleague, and they would not hear that it was time to let her go (she had very confusing symptoms if you didn’t know her well). But: it had taken her “all” to get her to that point; after that, she was so miserable, she never slept with me again, just hid under the bed, it took 3-4 more days of suffering for my beloved friend & multiple ER visits before I could get them to hear me….I feel so terrible about that, she was such a good buddy to me, for her to have to suffer like that (after all I put her through too, years of subcutaneous fluids, etc, arrgghh!). And worst of all I LIED TO HER, I promised her if she could make it ONE MORE DAY I would let her get put down, then it didn’t happen. And she was my best little friend and best little buddy ever…..*tears*. Worst of all, the reason I tried to get her to wait one more day was to save ER costs (but also I wasn’t really ready): I ended up paying not only ER costs, but missing work, having additional vet bills and making my little buddy suffer.

    Anyway, someone at work told me today they are struggling with their beloved elderly cat, I am going to send the poem The Last Battle and May I Go? Thank you very much for helping me find another pet lover some words to help them through this difficult time. There is really almost nothing as challenging: and you can’t call out of work for it, it’s just something else.

    Also thank you for your poems, makes me remember that time is difficult to understand, and energy can never be created or destroyed, only transformed, and reminds me I will be reunited with my little beloved again! Makes me feel better too, my connection with her was/is so strong….

    Here is a little poem that I found, not so eloquent as the ones you posted, but I liked it:

    A Petful Prayer

    Beloved Creator, hear and bless
    Thy beasts and singing birds,
    And guard with tenderness
    Small things that have no words.



    January 31, 2014 at 2:37 am

    • I am so sorry for your loss and also for the guilt you are struggling with. It’s a normal part of grieving and you can really beat yourself up over the last days. I second guessed so many decisions, but time has helped with that. And just as we want to put off saying goodbye, so do they. I hope you reflect back, in time, and remember all the happy years and let some of the hard days fade away. You loved her, and she knew it.


      January 31, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      • I had to put down my puppy today. His name was Hershey. He was a seven week old cocker spaniel. For the last five days he suffered with parvo, cossicocia, and Hookworms. While being hospitalized, overnight he started to have neurological issues from the cossicocia, and the vet said there was no longer any hope. I’ve had other pets that pass away, but Hershey was the first dog I have had to make the decision to put down. Im sick with grief, and my heart actually aches. My crying has been constant. I stumbled across this website. I found some relief from my pain by reading the poems, and it helps to know I’m not alone. To my beloved Hershey: Even though you are no longer in my arms, you will forever remain in my heart. I Love You
        Hershey: 12-9-13 to 1-31-14


        January 31, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      • I am so sorry for your loss.


        February 4, 2014 at 3:43 pm

  9. Thank you for all these words; my angel left four weeks ago and is beautiful to know that there are people who understand, people who know what a blessing is been able to love a dog; my heart is broken and I can’t say I have an open wound, I have a scar on my soul.. Everything is quiet, different; my baby is gone.
    Thanks for the poems, thanks for being one of us.


    March 1, 2014 at 2:40 am

  10. I have cried so much,the poems touched me,my loss is my Scottie boy,who meant the world to me and my family,we lost our Tia less than a year ago too,they both now rest together on the shelf,we only have our coco now who is 16 and not in the best health,it hurts so much to see her looking for the other dogs,they are out of pain now,our pain is very real,but if love could have kept my dogs here they would never have gone,it’s our love for them that helped us to make the decision every owner does not want to make,so rip Tia and Scottie run together out of pain,and when it’s my time we will meet again and only then will I truly be happy again xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


    March 16, 2014 at 6:41 pm

  11. I feel for my grand-daughter in law today as she lets her beloved 12 year old Boxer JD pass to Rainbow Bridge,I told her to read 2 poems “The Last Battle ” and Severing The Tie” as they could help her to cope,I hope she does….

    Lynne Bofinger

    March 26, 2014 at 6:09 am

  12. I am so sorry ! I had to put my Baby boy Hanibal to sleep Sunday , it was so hard. I got him when he was 5 weeks old and he would have been 13 years old in August. We have been through so much together. My heart is broken in two. I love and miss him so much. The pain and loss is enormous. He was like my child. I will never get over this. He has always been there through good and bad times to comfort and love me no matter what. The best friend I had in the whole world .. now he’s gone. We had so many memories between only him and me. I pray to God to help me with all this pain , loss and sorrow. No one or nothing will ever take his place . I will love and miss him til my dying day, RIP my baby boy Hanibal <3.


    April 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    • I’m so sorry for your loss.


      April 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    • I know how your feeling I had to let my daisymay go , shes only been gone a week but my heart is still breaking.

      Thelma Turner

      August 4, 2014 at 4:06 pm

  13. We had to put our 14 year old German Shepherd down today. It was a decision my husband and I weren’t brave enough to make and we postponed it several times but – it is now really time. Nothing could have prepared me for it. The vet gave us the poem “If it should be” .. it hurts so much


    April 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    • I am so sorry for your loss.


      April 5, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    • I know how hard it is and how hurt you are. I am so sorry you have to go thru this pain. I had to do the same thing last Sunday. You are never ever ready to let go of them!! And the pain and loss is horrid. Theyare so special and so close to us and so deep inside our hearts. Like no one or nothing else in the world. I pray for God to ease the pain and loss you feel. God bless you!!! ❤

      To ni

      April 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      • Thank you for the reply. It means so much to know others have gone through the pain and feelings. I pray for comfort and happy memories for you. Keep in touch.


        April 24, 2014 at 4:19 am

  14. thank you for your poems…I had to put my beloved Merlin to sleep last Thursday….my heart is so broken..15 years side by side…such a profound loss..

    Patricia Dugan

    May 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    • I’m sorry for your great loss. I feel your loss & pain. W.e had our 15 year old husky down todsy. I am hurting so bad and I am completely heartbroken. I’m not looking forward to waking up tomorrow, as this will be the first time that she won’t be here. I know it was time, but the amount of sadness and heartache is unbearable. She was always such a good dog and so brave, never giving up; always tried so hard to help herself, til the end. I knew it was time.

      Sandy Pompilii

      September 14, 2016 at 2:58 am

  15. I had to say goodbye to my Fang on May 29. I try to think that he is in Heaven with his brothers but he was only 10 and we were going to grow old together. I have never known such pain. I had to let him go. He had a severe case of IMHA and stopped breathing after a blood transfusion.

    karolyn wess

    June 12, 2014 at 4:05 am

  16. thank you for the beautiful poems, i had to put my Holly to sleep last Friday, after nearly fourteen years together, we had a final hour in the garden where she loved to play, where i sat and told her how much she meant to me, and how sorry i was, but she was starting to suffer, and i couldnt have that. i could not bear to go in with her, my husband gently took her and stayed with her while i sat in the car park an absolute mess. i feel lost, i keep thinking shes there, then the tears start again when i realise shes not, i keep willing her just to appear once again in the garden, but i know she wont. God it hurts so much. the poem my forever friend sums it all up for me, i will never have another little dog like my Holly, she was one in a million, and im so glad she was in my life xxx


    June 24, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    • i am so sorry for your loss of holly. the special ones will hold a large piece of your heart forever.


      June 24, 2014 at 11:10 pm

  17. Thank you so much for those poems! They remind me that even with Callie and I are apart, we’re not really because she is everywhere I look.


    July 16, 2014 at 3:47 am

  18. Well in 2 days it will have been one month since my beloved little pug Shaba passed away. She would have been 18 this November. She had pulmonary hypertension since last January and she fought a hard battle with it. But she got stable around March and from then until July she hung in there. On that fateful morning July 16th though she had some sort of episode where she could no longer stand and began to get very sick. It was a constellation of issues the vet said . The decision to not proceed with any more invasive care was not only heartbreaking but so fast. It left me quite literally breathless that she was ok the day before and gone that next afternoon. I know in my heart that almost 18 is a long, long time that I had but as any of you reading here know it’s never long enough how much time we have with our little loved ones. I miss her so deeply and long to have her with me again. What I wouldn’t give for one more sweet yawn of hers or one more gentle nuzzle from her. I take great comfort though sharing with like minded people here in these posts. My prayers to all of you out there who miss your sweet pets. May we all be re-united one day!


    August 12, 2014 at 3:19 am

  19. My thoughts are with you Stacey. I know how much it hurts and how much you miss Shaba. My baby boy was almost 13 years old when I had to have him put down back in March.I has gotten a little easier to bear. i still love and miss him so much.if i could have him back and he be healthy I would do it in a second.


    August 13, 2014 at 2:47 am

  20. Today has been the hardest day of my life. As we had to put down our 13 year old miniature Pinscher. She had been quite sick for a couple of days. She looked so sad, she wouldn’t eat, drink, go to the restroom or even get out of bed. When we finally took her to the vet we were told she had a cancerous tumor that was the size of a fist. When the doctor told us this, we all immediately began to shed tears. The life of our fellow companion was near the end. I am only 16, my father had given me a wonderful pup as a gift when I turned 3. We’ve had no other pets, and the loss of our only one has been devastating. Especially for my 9 years old sister. It was very difficult to explain to her, that we would never see our wonderful Star again. Although we are sad, we are happy because she spent her entire life by our side. She is now in a better place, pain-free. Thank you for these wonderful poems.


    July 22, 2015 at 3:47 pm

  21. Last Tuesday me and my husband lost our best friend Semper AKA pooky to Bone cancer he only lasted a month from diagnosis he was only 9 years old we didn’t get him until our kids were grown so he became our very large baby he was a beautiful 137 pound white German Shepard who thought he was a human wanting to sit on the couch sleep in our bed no matter how much we fought it he always won he was our gentle giant great with the grandbabies but could go into ferocious dog when needed our children would say he was more spoiled than they were that may be true the decision to let them go was hard I truly feel like I’ve lost a child the poem The Last Battle helped me grieve and know we did the rite thing by letting go when we did he will always be my baby and can never be replaced rest in peace my gentle giant we will never forget


    November 30, 2015 at 6:57 pm

  22. We just lost our Molly today. Foind your poems and they make me sad but still help at the same time, Thank you. Our Molly (Black Poodle) was 15 and had so many illnesses that we had no choice but to put her to sleep as she couldnt even walk any longer from diabetes, kidney failure, spleen problems etc. Thank you so much again for the poems, I think even though I lost my baby girl today and she’s now without her Daddy’s protection that it really helped me to read these through my tears. Thank you


    January 31, 2016 at 6:54 am

    • So sorry you lost Molly. Pet lovers certainly understand how difficult it is to lose their beloved pets.We have such a connection with the fur babies in our life!. My pug Suzie died one year ago & I still feel her around me & hear her nails on the hard wood floors in our house. I hope you find the strength to move forward & maybe even have another little black poodle in your life who needs & wants a new home. I’m sending you positive thoughts & golden vibrations! Hugs xo


      November 1, 2016 at 5:04 am

  23. Thank you all. Heart felt real feelings. We all hurt, remember and heal. Best of all we got to live the LOVE! Love to all!


    February 14, 2017 at 7:33 am

    • And thank you for the angels who come to the home with love to do what needs to be done… Much love. We need you!


      February 14, 2017 at 8:01 am

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