Sara Rutkowski’s Tribute to Theo, a Belgian Sheep Dog


Dear Theo,

We promise to remember you in the snow,

black on white,

where you were striking and strong.

We’ll think of your dignified bow,

how you lowered your snout and

performed a little dance as we approached.

How you crossed your paws on the kitchen floor,

and sighed in your sleep,

and how you curled up behind the plant that kept growing

and growing.

Your fervent, moist eyes.

Your soft head under our fingers.

The furry wisps that bordered your stick-up ears.

But this is not enough.

It’s all too aesthetic, too contained by just your image.

What about the rest?

Your integrity, your awareness of others’ feelings.

What about your charisma

and the real mark you left?

These are terms reserved for human lives.


with all of our weaknesses.

There should be better words to commemorate

your wordless life.

Better than: He was a good dog.

But you were a good dog.



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