Not Ready to Say Goodbye


What does a dog mean to you?
What has my dog meant to me?
Without his love,
I don’t know who I’d be.

I found him alone,
I found him on my lap.
Twelve years ago,
We took our first nap.


He tugged at my trouser,
This mini Schnauzer.
Ran in circles, made me laugh,
Ran away from the bath.
Ears and belly pink,
Could fit him in the sink.


I named him Pretzel,
And gave him a toy.
My favorite food,
Since I was a boy.


Ears oversized,
Bark so loud.
Mind so wise,
Acts so proud.


Best friends, big kisses,
Chasing lizards,
All misses.
Endless kisses.

Can’t stand to leave him alone,
Paws at me when I’m on the phone.
Cries when I leave home.
My sadness like his moan.

Waits for me to eat his food,
My mood is his mood.
Waits for me to come home with tears,
Acts like it has been years.

Sniffing grass,
Every blade of grass,
Never ending,
A sniffing blast.


I’m late to work, walking him.
He doesn’t care,
While he lets his beard
Blow in the air.


Lucky him, lucky me,
Meant to be; to be a dog, to be so free.
Taking strolls, a million hugs,
Cuddling up on the rug.


Rub my belly,
Walk me more,
Do not bother me,
While I snore.


I’m not keeping score,
But no man ever loved a dog more.
Taught me how to love them all,
All animals, big and small.

Eyes so gentle, fragile in his stare,
I see every animal in his glare.


Older now, arthritis tough,
Kidneys failing, walking rough.
Holding strong,
As I sing him songs.

Sees another dog,
Young at heart, tail wagging hard.
Never says no,
To a roll in the yard.


Still smelling flowers,
Still scared of rain showers.
Still startles the UPS man
Barks as much as he can.


Still go to the beach,
And watch the sun set.
Raises his beard in the wind
as I pet.


Best friends,
Twelve years later,
Every day,
More grateful than ever.


Not ready to say goodbye.
Cherishing every hour.
Now I hug him with a sigh,
And tell him to stay forever.


Don’t leave me friend,
I don’t want this to end.
I’ll rub your belly more,
I’ll let you out the door.
I’ll throw the ball,
And chase you in the hall.
I’ll let you kick pillows off the couch,
And lick me on the mouth.

Just rest your head
On my chin;
One more time,
and then again.


I’m not ready to say goodbye,
Please don’t ever die.
I need you here,
For 12 more years.

I’ll be with you til the end.
Pretzel, my best friend.

40 thoughts on “Not Ready to Say Goodbye

  1. you did andrew. you made me cry. this is so beautiful, intimate, powerful, full of real love and worries. the only flaw in animals is their short life expectancy. we live in fear and sorrow. that s the price to pay to share our life with them, marvellous creatures. i ll pay it. they are worth it so much. thank you for that wonderfull poem. i ll keep it…for when the dreaded day will come

      1. Bless u and Pretzel…tears flowing…you must think of them…as hard as it is…I can say it is the HARDEST thing I ever had to endure…have told you, due to my illness…had to adopt one of my loves last summer…the last one had to PTS..the day before Christmas…the only thing that ever helps is RAINBOW BRIDGE…You have to beleive…contact them if or when the time comes…they did my Maynard proud…HUGS to both of you…xoxox

      2. Hi, Andrew, have found your page today and start crying again. I had my friend for 12 years… so short time… he passed away on 6th of September 2017, still can’t accept it, all that you say here is absolutely true… miss him so much…

      3. I have a pretzel myself, but he’s “Yoyo”
        I think you said everything I feel and think about him.
        And the same age..
        My sweet boy, we’ve been through so much together .
        I love Yoyo with all my heart and soul and hope we’ll be together in heaven…!!!
        Thank you, kindered spirits

  2. Absolutely wonderful! My greatest dog ever was a schnauzer – so intelligent, so loyal. My only wish is that my dogs could live as long as my parrots do. I don’t understand why our time with them has to be so short. Enjoy and cherish every day you have left with Pretzel, do all the things you ever wanted to do with him and most of all, give him love!

  3. Beautiful. You’re loving relationship with Pretzel is so special. I feel you’re pain as well, my little shitzu Babycakes has been struggling as well. She will be twelve this December. The moment I laid eyes on her all those years ago – my heart was hers. So many happy years of life with her. I too would love another twelve years at least. Recently she has been sick with Pancreatitis. Was so very horrible and my fears of losing her are sometimes overwhelming. I just try to thank God each day for the gift of her and pray that she is happy and heathy for as long as possible.
    Thank you for writing such a beautiful poem. I will say an extra prayer for you and Pretzel as well.

  4. Enjoy every single moment. I long to hear,see and feel my little G who left me at the young age of 5 so unexpectedly.

  5. This made me cry the moment I read the title….even though you write about your dog, it made me think of my cat Tigger who died at 10 years old of kidney failure three and a half years ago…the pain is still palpable….my heart goes out to you and Pretzel.

  6. Couldn’t stop the tears as I read your poem. I could relate to every word as familiar emotions welled up inside me. I miss my boy, Rock, who I said goodbye to almost three years ago. It was truly the worst day of my life. Another day with him would be a welcome gift.

    Try to live in the moment, as Pretzel does. And know that he will always be with you.

    Peace to you both!

  7. How beautiful, we lost our baby Maxx 2 1/2 years ago,I ll never stop missing him, he passed 10 days before his 9th birthday, ministers from a church we left, who lived upstairs from us poisened him 7 years earlier,, we went bankrupt from the medical bills, but we needed him here a little longer, he did ( after a long battle recover, but his immune system was comprimised, he had one thing after another, but we stuck with him+ him with us, Oct 26, 2009, he took his last breathe here home with us, we found 2 days later, a biopsy taken from a lump on neck, Maxx had lymphoma, we will never recover from his loss… ever, but he knew how much he was loved!!!:c

  8. Pretzel looks really good. Are you sure good-bye is around the corner? My Shadow a vegan Cockapoo is 18 and since his summer haircut he’s a new man…Pretzel looks healthy and strong.
    But of course you know…..sending much love and all good thoughts,

  9. Andrew, what a beautiful tribute to your beautiful Pretzel. I could not stop the tears as I read it. I just lost my own dog who I had shared life with for the past 12.5 years. In the last 3 years she overcame a brain tumor and mast cell cancer. She’d been in remission for over a year and then developed a very uncommon form of lymphoma. We did chemo until it began to damage her more than it helped her. She passed on last month. She was my best friend, my faithful companion, who brought so much love and happiness to my life. I will always love her…

  10. Very wonderful tribute to Pretzel, and to you! Live these years with the appreciation and love that you feel, and you will always have them…. isn’t it wonderful to have such love in your life, and this is the “bargain” we make , when we commit to this love. These realizations make the times sweeter and more meaningful…live them as ongoing LIFE, not finality. Eileen Gladstone

  11. I love the Pretzel too. He is so sweet. I know how much he means to you. Makes me think of our Marshmallow dog. So sad when we lost her. She was such a wonderful dog.

  12. What a wonderful poem expressing just the feelings, I feel for all my animals! Don’t want to miss one of them, cause I know, its hard to say good bye to a very close friend. Hope , there is a lot of time left, for you and your Pretzel!!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing this poem with us. Made me smile and cry. I have a 14 year old cat that is starting to slow down, this hit close to home for me.

  14. It’s such an honor to share these amazing being’s life with them. The difficult part is that we outlive them. Unconditional love that goes both ways….so beautiful to have, so hard to lose. Wishing you and Pretzel peace.

  15. Animals and children teach us the meaning of true love. Thank you for sharing your magnificent tribute to the one who holds your heart.

  16. Absolutely beautiful, loving tribute and photographs of your wonderful pal Pretzel. I love that you go to the beach with him to watch the sunsets, as his beard blows in the breeze. I can feel the powerful bond between you & him, a bond that cannot be broken. He is forever in your heart Andrew, and you are forever in his. ❤

  17. You were both so lucky. Seems you gave him THE BEST life. He’s still there by you…that I’m sure of.

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