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Songs for dog memorial service?

Dave'sWife 17 Sep 06 - 11:41 AM
Herga Kitty 17 Sep 06 - 12:13 PM
GUEST 17 Sep 06 - 12:15 PM
Dave the Gnome 17 Sep 06 - 12:28 PM
Herga Kitty 17 Sep 06 - 12:32 PM
kendall 17 Sep 06 - 01:18 PM
Dave'sWife 17 Sep 06 - 01:25 PM
Zany Mouse 17 Sep 06 - 01:34 PM
Genie 17 Sep 06 - 02:01 PM
Dartford Warbler 17 Sep 06 - 02:09 PM
Sooz 17 Sep 06 - 02:19 PM
Genie 17 Sep 06 - 02:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Sep 06 - 03:26 PM
Matt_R 17 Sep 06 - 03:27 PM
Polly Squeezebox 17 Sep 06 - 03:40 PM
Sorcha 17 Sep 06 - 04:20 PM
Genie 17 Sep 06 - 04:27 PM
Mo the caller 17 Sep 06 - 04:35 PM
Genie 17 Sep 06 - 04:59 PM
Alan Day 17 Sep 06 - 05:23 PM
Snuffy 17 Sep 06 - 06:43 PM
Joybell 17 Sep 06 - 07:33 PM
Genie 17 Sep 06 - 09:14 PM
Deckman 17 Sep 06 - 09:39 PM
Gypsy 17 Sep 06 - 11:28 PM
Dave'sWife 18 Sep 06 - 07:25 AM
kendall 18 Sep 06 - 07:35 AM
Mr Yellow 18 Sep 06 - 07:47 AM
Bill in Alabama 18 Sep 06 - 08:29 AM
open mike 18 Sep 06 - 10:59 AM
Genie 18 Sep 06 - 11:22 AM
Genie 18 Sep 06 - 11:35 AM
Severn 18 Sep 06 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Jim 18 Sep 06 - 11:55 AM
John Hardly 18 Sep 06 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Jim 18 Sep 06 - 11:59 AM
Big Mick 18 Sep 06 - 12:20 PM
katlaughing 18 Sep 06 - 01:25 PM
Joybell 18 Sep 06 - 07:41 PM
Genie 18 Sep 06 - 07:43 PM
open mike 18 Sep 06 - 07:51 PM
Bonecruncher 18 Sep 06 - 08:31 PM
Dave'sWife 18 Sep 06 - 11:26 PM
Gypsy 18 Sep 06 - 11:57 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Sep 06 - 12:54 AM
Genie 19 Sep 06 - 05:00 AM
kendall 19 Sep 06 - 06:26 AM
Dave'sWife 19 Sep 06 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Jim 19 Sep 06 - 05:06 PM
Genie 20 Sep 06 - 02:33 AM
Grab 20 Sep 06 - 09:02 AM
Dave'sWife 20 Sep 06 - 12:45 PM
Genie 20 Sep 06 - 10:11 PM
Barry Finn 21 Sep 06 - 02:56 AM
Dave'sWife 22 Sep 06 - 11:19 AM
Scoville 22 Sep 06 - 03:59 PM
Sorcha 22 Sep 06 - 04:21 PM
Becca72 22 Sep 06 - 04:32 PM
lamarca 22 Sep 06 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,Bee 22 Sep 06 - 10:33 PM
Genie 23 Sep 06 - 02:02 AM
GUEST 14 Apr 12 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 15 Apr 12 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Gio 15 Apr 12 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,Guest:: Michael William Harrison 16 Apr 12 - 12:22 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: SHANNON (Henry Gross)
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 11:41 AM

This is in all seriousness. My Alsatian passed away last Tuesday (Sept 12th) and he was an immensely popular fellow in our neighborhood and at the local dog park. Some local children have asked if we can have a funeral and I said OK to it without thinking it through. He's being cremated and we plan to scatter his ashes at the vista lookout point in the Dog park. I thought we might sing a song to make it less awful.

Some people have suggested that Henry Gross sing from the 1970s called "Shannon" which is actually about a dog who dies and the sadness of her family in the aftermath but it's maudlin and wholly inappropriate. here is a sampling of the lyrics so you'll see what I mean:

SHANNON - Henry Gross

Another day is at end
Mama says she's tired again
No one can even begin to tell her
I hardly know what to say
But maybe it's better that way
If Papa were here I'm sure he'd tell her

Shannon is gone I heard
She's drifting out to sea
She always loved to swim away
Maybe she'll find an island
With a shaded tree
Just like the one in our backyard

Mama tries hard to pretend
That things will get better again
Somehow she's keepin' it all inside her
But finally the tears fill our eyes
And I know that somewhere tonight
She knows how much we really miss her

Shannon is gone I heard
She's drifting out to sea
She always loved to swim away
Maybe she'll find an island
With a shaded tree
Just like the one in our back yard



Now the sick thing is - the Internet legends say this about a golden retriever who was playing with a ball at the shore and went out to far , getting caught in the undertow and swept out to sea. It matches the lyrics but what an awful thought! Not exactly the song for this occasion, eh?

When making suggestions, it doesn't have to be a song about a dog who died or even about a dog. I just think a song about loyalty, friendship, and other such dog traits would be fine. Dog songs are fine, just doesn't necessarily have to be a dog song, you know?

The kids that loved him most are old enough to be bereaved and wouldn't respond well to anything to childish. They are between the ages of 8 and 16 and several of them literally grew up with him. He was euthanized after having a stroke that partially paralyzed him so most of them got to actually say goodbye to him when we made the decision. We carried him into the front yard and let them lay down next to him and cuddle him, brush him and so on.

I'd like the service to be brief, let the kids say what they want, scatter the ashes and then wrap up with a song and go home. Any ideas? A number of adults will be attending too along with their dogs who were his pals so I'd like to consider them as well. I know it seems a bit over the top, but he was a wonderful lad and we all loved him. As bad as I feel about his loss, I feel worse for some of the kids who really are broken up about it. I feel having a little service up on the hill will be just the thing.


RIP Puppers (photo of him)


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Subject: Lyr Add: BESS (Steve Thomason)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 12:13 PM

There's Steve Thomason's song about a much-loved family pet...

BESS

When I was seven our old dog died, Eventually my mother agreed that we should have another pup, Bess. When I first moved from the town to live on a farm, Bess was my constant companion.

Chorus - A better friend no man could have
No truer heart, no keener eye,
A better friend no man could have,
As the sun sets in the western sky.

I've had her since I was a boy
Since first I came onto the farm,
Her company has brought me joy,
Her courage kept me safe from harm

She's been with me on all my walks,
By rushing stream and bracken glen,
And listened close to all my talks,
And never disagreed with them.

And as we walked by moorland stream,
We watched the wild hare running by,
Relived those walks in all our dreams,
As skylarks sang in summer skies.

But now she lies close by the hearth,
No hares to chase, no skylarks fly,
She takes that one last lonely path,
As the sunlight fades from western skies.


Kitty


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Subject: Lyr Add: DEAD PUPPIES and ... MY DEAD DOG ROVER
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 12:15 PM

Two suggestions from the DT immediately leap to mind
You might also use the true song about SwanSeaJack the lifesaving dog of Wales that got poisoned out of jealousy.

DEAD PUPPIES

Dead puppies, dead puppies

Dead puppies aren't much fun.

Verses: They don't come, when you call
They don't chase no squirrels at all
Dead puppies aren't much fun

Mom said puppies' days are through
Then she chunked him in the stew
Dead puppies aren't much fun

Puppy died late last fall
He's still rotting in the hall
Dead puppies aren't much fun

I'M LOOKING OVER MY DEAD DOG ROVER

I'm looking over my dead dog, Rover,
Who I hit with the power mower.
One leg is missing, the other is gone,
A third leg is scattered all over the lawn.
No need explaining the one remaining
Is spinning on the car port floor...
I'm looking over my dead dog, Rover,
Who I over-looked before!

I'm looking over my dead dog, Rover,
Who I hit with the power mower.
My dog's not eating, he no longer barks;
He hit the propeller and turned into sparks.
No need explaining, there's no dog remaining;
He's a part of the lawn you see...
I'm looking over my dead dog, Rover,
Who I sent to Eternity!

tune: I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover

SINCERELY


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 12:28 PM

Firstly condolonces to Daves Wife (and Dave I guess).

Secondly how come no one has mentioned 'Old Shep' yet?

DtG


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 12:32 PM

DtG - the first thought that came to mind was Old Shep, but I don't have the words!


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: kendall
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 01:18 PM

Old Shep is on my first album. (Folk Legacy)
Click here for lyrics


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 01:25 PM

Actually, I remembered a lovely song from jane Siberry's first album about taking a walk with a dog named wolf in the snow at night. It's upbeat and fun. I'll have to dig it out and give it a listen.

Guest, somehow I don't think the kids would get the joke about My Dead Dog Rover since they really loved the dog and are genuinely upset by his death. Given that they grew up with him and that they visted him most every day, this loss is signifcant to them. I'd not be having a service at all had the kids not asked for one, so my request is perhaps a tad more sincere than your reply.

One of the girls, now age 11, is an only child and she used to come over and tell him about her day at school and confide in him about her problems when she was younger. She used to give him a daily brushing and once-over with the shedding comb and tell him all her troubles. I read an article not long ago that said lonely children often confide in pets as if they were people and that it is a healthy outlet for them. Luckily this girl now has a small dog of her own but still, she's very sad.

I've never held a dog memorial service and I really could use the advice. I'd like to choose a song that the kids can sing as well. As I said before, doesn't have to be a song about a dog - just appropriate to sing at the closing of an informal service for a dog and a scattering of ashes. One of the children used to sing "Your are my Sunshine" to the dog ut she just kept singing the chorus over and over, not being familiar with the entire song. (which is quite a downer) Maybe we'll do that and compose a special verse or two about him.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 01:34 PM

I can't help you over appropriate music but just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. Non-dog owners/servants will not understand but we do, being devoted servants to our Yorkie, Max.

I hope your grief lessens soon and you will be able to enjoy only happy memories.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Genie
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 02:01 PM

So sorry about your dog's passing, Dave'sWife.

Song suggestions;

For sentimentality, there's Stephen Foster's "Old Dog Tray" or the folk song "Old Blue."

For a lighter "celebration of the life of" a canine companion, I heartily suggest "Our Hour (The Puppy Love Song" recorded by Spike Jones & His City Slickers on the album "Spiked! The Music of Spike Jones."

It's a hilarious song, complete with dog sounds, e.g., the chorus, which starts:
"This is ouwwrrrr (h)ouwwwrrr for love ... "

I'm looking for the lyrics on line, but it kind of looks like the copyright holders may have prohibited their posting, (One site has a spot for the song but it says "Lyrics removed.") Anyway, it's well worth the 99 cents to download the song at iTunes.   Even if you don't use it for your best friend's memorial.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Dartford Warbler
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 02:09 PM

Pretty sure there must be something from the pen of Les Barker
who lost his beloved Mrs Ackroyd some years ago.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Sooz
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 02:19 PM

Dave'w Wife - I've sent you a PM.

You should hear "Stay Awhile" by Dave Wilson. It was written for his dog just after her demise and is very moving. There is a free download available
here


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service? / Our Hour
From: Genie
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 02:53 PM

Here are the lyrics to "Our Hour (The Puppy Love Song)" and some links to help find an mp3.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 03:26 PM

Hard to beat "Old Blue."

I buried him in a beautiful shade,
Dug his grave with a silver spade;
Let him down with a golden chain;
At every link I'd call his name:
Blue! Blue! Blue! Blue! You rascal you
I wish it was me instead of you.
(Snif)

See DT and especially thread 9707 for a better version: Old Blue


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Matt_R
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 03:27 PM

How about "Maybe Tomorrow," the theme from "The Littlest Hobo"?


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Subject: Lyr Add: PUPPY LOVE
From: Polly Squeezebox
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 03:40 PM

I was never a fan of Donny Osmond, but it surprising that with just a little tweeking the words of his 'Puppy Love' could be appropriate. As below:

"Puppy Love"

And they called it puppy love
Oh we guess they'll never know
How young hearts really feel
And why we loved him so

And they called it puppy love
Just because we're in our teens
Tell them all oh please tell it isn't fair
To take away our canine friend

We cry each night these tears for him
Our tears are all in vain
We hope and pray that maybe some day
There will be such a dog in our life once again

Someone help us, help us please
Is the answer up above
How can we oh how can we tell them
This was sincere puppy love

I think you are very brave to share your grief and goodbyes with this group of youngsters. It will almost certainly teach them a very valuable life lesson and aid them in the process of grief and loss. Have you thought that you might do something positive like planting a tree in his memory as part of the ceremony - I'm sure all his doggie friends would appreciate it.

Polly


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Sorcha
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 04:20 PM

I'm sorry, Dave's Wife. We still cry about ours.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Genie
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 04:27 PM

And even those of us who are owned by cats instead of dogs share your grief.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 04:35 PM

You need a song that they know, or can join in the chorus of.
The idea of putting new verses to You are my Sunshine is a good one (though 'please don't take my sunshine away' as a last line may need thinking about).
Pets leave a gap when they go, don't they.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Genie
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 04:59 PM

These are in the DT:

WHEN A DOG SMILES - Mark Cohen
MY DOG'S BIGGER THAN YOUR DOG - Tom Paxton
ME AND LITTLE ANDY - Dolly Parton
OLD DOG TRAY
OLD BLUE
BESTEST FRIEND

So are these, but less directly relevant:

MR BOJANGLES (mainly the verse about "His dog and him travelled about. The dog up and died, ... but after 20 years he still grieved."


And on the less serious side:
HOW MUCH IS THAT HOUND DOG IN THE WINDOW
HOUND DOG SONG
not to be confused with:
HOUND DOG


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Alan Day
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 05:23 PM

I would suggest
All things Bright and Beautiful
Al


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Snuffy
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 06:43 PM

Nobody's mentioned TO BELLMAN.

Barry Finn gave a wonderful rendition of this at the Getaway in 2003, and I'm ashamed to say that I followed it with Old Shep (because both songs contain the line "he's gone where the good doggies go").

I'll give you the words at Banbury, Kitty, or even sing if it if you're not careful!


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Joybell
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 07:33 PM

So sorry Dave's Wife. I had a German Shepherd. He grew up with my kids. Behaved like a sort of canine uncle. I still think of him. He died 20 years ago. I've never had another dog.
Are these the same children who like Hildebrand's song about Sooty the Cat? It has a verse about a dog called Griss. Although it was written for a young child it can be seen as child-like rather than childish.
My first thought was Old Dog Tray which is already here. Then there's "You've Been a Friend to Me" - made popular by the Carter Family. The verses would need re-working but chorus would stand:

I'll ne'er forget where ere I roam
Where ever I* may be
If ever I have had a friend
You've been that friend to me.

* originally you

My thoughts from over the way. Joy


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Genie
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 09:14 PM

The lyrics to the song "My Buddy" could easily be tweaked slightly for a tribute to a 4-legged pal. Here's a rough approximation of the song's lyrics:

Nights are long since you went away.
I think about you all night and day,
My Buddy, My Buddy,
Nobody quite like you.

Miss your voice, the touch of your hand.
I long to know that you understand,
My Buddy, My Buddy,
Your buddy misses you.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 09:39 PM

To: "Dave's Wife" ... sorry about your loss, it's never easy.

What I suggest is not a song at all, but rather a very moving poem. The poet is Robinson Jeffers, the Big Sur poet. I've been a follower of his for many years. I've even visted his homestead, "Tor House," in the Carmel area several times. He wrote a poem titled, I think, "The House Dog's Grave." The dog's name was "Haig," and I've read this poem at similiar events. And, it's not maudilin at all.

I'll bet you can google it and it will pop up. If you can't find it, PM me and I'll send it. Best wishes, Bob(deckman)Nelson (remember ... dogs are people too)


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HOUSE DOG'S GRAVE (Robinson Jeffers)
From: Gypsy
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 11:28 PM

Hey Bob, that is a GREAT poem. Since i think everyone should read it................
Mrs. Dave, my condolences. Check your messages, am going to send you a pm.


The House Dog's Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)
I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read--and I fear often grieving for me--
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.


Robinson Jeffers, 1941


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 07:25 AM

That poem is wonderful! I believe we'll try and fit it in. Thank you ALL for your kid suggestions and words. I have no children of my own and as a result I function as a sort of neighorhood "auntie" to a number of children. They enjoy learning songs from me (including Sooty the Cat), doing crafts, gardening and cooking fun things. I try to make time for them in my afternoons. I also tutor some home-schooled children in random subjects they find interesting but not part of their regular curriculum. They all got to know our dog from the time he was a puppy and often came over to see him and not me!

We live in a changing neighborhood where most of the 1920s cottages such as ours have been torn down and turned into duplexes or apartments. Most of the kids live in homes without yards and so cannot have a dog. As a result, our yard and gardens have become something of a little "park" for the kids who come to see the birds, butterflies, cats and of course, the dog. We may have the service in our Sunflower garden instead of at the dog park so more kids can make it. Our stand of maximillians (small but tall branching prairie sunflowers) has come into full bloom and would make a lovely backdrop.

After posting my request for suggestions here, several of the kids came by in the afternoon and we discussed rewriting "You Are My Sunshine". I had them write down all the traits about Puppers that they loved and then we attempted to hammer out their sentiments to the tune. Here are the best lyrics they were able to agree upon. They had a few more verses that tended to repeat things and get too sad. Here's the best of what they suggested. Please feel free to tweak the lyrics for us so they work better. Also, please forgive the childish nature of some of the lines. The children who worked on this were aged 8, 10 and 11 and all girls. They'd never tried to write a song before and I feel they did farily well, especially the line aout the postal carrier!

Goodbye To Our Sunshine
To the tune of "Your Are My Sunshine"

Chorus and first verse:

You were our sunshine, our darling sunshine
You made us happy, when skies were grey
We hope you know dear, how much we loved you
and we're sad that you've gone away

Verses:

You were agood boy, the very best boy
And you always wagged your tail
You never barked at, nor growled or snapped at
The lady who brings us our mail

We liked to brush you and scratch your tummy
And pet your pointy velvet ears
We knew you when you were just a puppy
and we grew up with you over the years

You liked children and even kittens
And played with every boy and girl
You were always happy when we came over
You were the best doggie in the world

You had to leave us and go to heaven
Although we're sad we'll try not to cry
Instead we came here to say we loved you
And to give you one last "woof" Goodbye


I think we'll only repeat the chorus every two verses so the song won't be too long. Even if we don't wind up singing the song, I believe it comforted them to spend the time trying to write it up. Constructive comments and suggestions about the verses and chorus are welcomed.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: kendall
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 07:35 AM

Yellow Dog

You keep your lofty abstract god,
Myself, I choose a child of Pan,
An ordinary yellow dog
Who does for love what mortals can,
Who stretches out her mortal frame
Determinedly, although she's lame
For one more walk beside her man.

Whose ashes grace the forest way
We roamed together yesterday.
And, to the wilder god I pray:
Give her soul some woods to run,
A stick to fetch, a patch of sun.
And near her, Pan, preserve a place
For me, come from a lesser race.

Bill Levenworth cr 1994


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Mr Yellow
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 07:47 AM

What about the A e Houseman poem.

No one could be ??? nor keener of sight
Than he who sleeps under the Balcktorn tonight.

I can't find it on the web - only know it was sung by Eric Paine at the Somers Folk Club. Maybe Liz and Alan may know it. They know Eric from visits there.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 08:29 AM

There's a eulogy on a dog called "Old Drum". It was used at the funeral of the famous "Old Shep" in Montana in 1942. http://www.warrensburg.org/drum.htm
It's not a song, but it's worth consideration, I believe.   

Bill


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: open mike
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 10:59 AM

oh, Kendall, we owe thanks to the dog who saved you!
"When I was 4 years old, the family dog saved me from drowning"

The nameless guest who posted some insensitive songs was rude.
(about the puppies and rover....)

The songs that come to mind for me are one by Tom Dundee "harry"
done by Brian Bowers,
and one called I Wanna Be a Dog by Barry Louis Polisar,

and here is a site about a guy who has a dog song album
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/kirkolsen, http://www.dogsongs.net/



and here is a poem/writing i found:

From time to time, people say,"lighten up, it's just a dog,"
or "that's a lot of money for just a dog."
They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent,
or the costs involved for "just a dog."
Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog."
Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog,"
but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog,"
and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog"
gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it's "just a dog,"
then you will probably understand phrases like
" just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."
" Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of
friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.
" Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience
that make me a better person.
Because of "just a dog" I will rise early,
take long walks and look longingly to the future.
So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog"
but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future,
the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
" Just a dog" brings out what's good in me
and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog"
but the thing that gives me humanity and
keeps me from being "just another person."
So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog,"
just smile, because they "just don't understand."

~ Richard Biby


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Subject: Songs for dog memorial service / I Wanna Be A Dog
From: Genie
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 11:22 AM

Open Mike, thanks for reminding me of the title of the other funny dog song I was trying to remember: I Wanna Be A Dog.

I connect that song with Spike Jones's "Our Hour: The Puppy Love Song," because they're both delightfully funny and because I was introduced to both songs at the same Portland, OR, song circle a few years ago.   

Now I have to see if I can find the lyrics.


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Subject: Songs for dog memorial service? / I Wanna Be A Dog
From: Genie
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 11:35 AM

Mudlark's mention of Sidesaddle's version of I Wanna Be A Dog

Barbara's post of partial lyrics to I Wanna Be A Dog

"Oh, I wanna be a dog, HUH, HUH, HUH, HUH,
Oh, I wanna lie around, HUH, HUH, HUH, HUH
I wanna scratch fleas and pee on trees,
I just wanna be a hound.

Barbara says it's in Rise Up Singing.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Severn
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 11:49 AM

Clarence White sang one called "Bugler" on the Byrds' "Farther Along" album. Far better than anything McGuinn or the others came up with on that one, as a matter of fact. It was written by one Larry Murray.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HE'S A GOOD DOG (Eaglesmith)+DOG (Dundee)
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 11:55 AM

My deepest sympathy. This comes to mind:


HE'S A GOOD DOG
As recorded by Fred Eaglesmith on "Ralph's Last Show"

He's a good dog; I've had him for years.
He used to get up when I'd walk by; now he just lifts up his ears,
And he thumps his tail on the floor when I talk to him.
When I talk too long, he just ignores me and he goes to sleep again.

He's a good dog; I got him as a pup.
I tried to teach him all the tricks, but then I just gave up,
'Cause he's never acted very bright, though his eyes they've got this glow,
And I think he actually knows some things that actually I don't.

And he never barks at strangers, then he never barks at cars,
And he howls at the coyotes while they're howling at the stars,
And he scratches at the back door till someone lets him in,
Then he scratches at the other side 'cause he wants back out again.

He's a good dog, but one of these days,
I'm gonna have to drive him into town and have him put away,
'Cause he don't hear that good no more, and he can't hardly walk,
But until then I look at him and I say, "He's a good dog."

******************************************************************

There's a poem that Bryan Bowers recites with some chords behind it, making kind of a talking blues type thing. It's called DOG. I often do these as a set.


DOG
Written by Tom Dundee
As recorded by Bryan Bowers on "By Heart"

The whole thing started 'cause it looked like fun
When other people had a dog; "I'm gonna get me one,"
I said, "Have a little friend around the place."
So I went to the pet store down the street
And lyin' in the middle of a canine heap
Was a sleepy little puppy with a quiet sort of a face.

The next few weeks were certainly strange
Between the barkin' and the thinkin' up of names
Old Blue he wasn't and Spot didn't really apply
So I settled for Harry, just because
That's how he is and that's how he was
And that's how the house gets more and more as days go by.

For a time I was careful where I sat
The rug got funky and he chewed up my hat
And it still happens once in a while when he gets mad
But it's been pretty even after all
I taught him what I know about playin' ball
And he's helped me get rid of a lot of stuff I used to have.

Sometimes friends drop by for a couple of beers
And we all sit around, take turns rubbin' his ears
And callin' him; it's been that way ever since he was a pup.
He sleeps on the bed and when I turn over,
He turns over, then I turn over,
Then he turns over, then I turn over, and we get up.

As my life keeps movin' through the different conditions
The big changes come with the slightest decisions
You're in for a surprise when you think you got it figured, I've found.
'Cause who ever thought I'd ever dote on a pet,
But lookin' back now, I always forget
How I filled up the time before my dog was around.

*****************************************************

These may not be suitable for a memorial, but they may be a comfort to anyone who's lost a dog. Wish I could send the tune for the Fred song. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: John Hardly
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 11:58 AM

Best "Passing of a dog" story I've ever read:
****************************************************************

We both know the end of our time together approaches, my dog and I, but still we linger.

I lay on the floor, my arm around his furry neck, scratching his chest as I watch the women's Olympic marathon. Watching the marathoners reminds me of all the miles Kliban and I have run together, on the roads and through the years. We have run together for possibly 10,000 miles as I trained for races, through all seasons, and have shared the time between my 23rd and 38th year.

I was there at his birth. And his presence has been the one constant thread, the singular unchanging color in the tapestry of 15 years.
Threads have ended in the tapestry, people have gone, and there are memories that just the two of us share.

"He's just a dog..." people who have never had a dog might say. But there is a wisdom, born in the shared years, that glows in those luminous, round brown eyes, now above a graying muzzle and clouded with the blue of old age.

When we hiked the Appalachian Trail together, we fell into a pattern that mirrored the way he lived in my life - his self-appointed guardianship. He always trotted ahead to wait for me, standing protectively where he could scan the trail ahead while still keeping me in sight.

As I slept, he protected, once even charging a wild boar that rooted around our tent in Tennessee.

Twice on the trail he disobeyed.

Once, in Virginia, he returned from his vantage point and blocked my path. As I kept trying to go around him I grew irritated - until I finally heard the ominous shake of the rattlesnake up ahead.

And in New York, where we had hiked a long two days without water during a drought, he suddenly disappeared for a stretch of minutes. I yelled at him when he finally reappeared and approached, until he rubbed his wet chest against my legs and then led me to the water.
The words "good dog" made him quiver with happiness, and that was all he ever wanted.

But now the arthritic hips have finally failed, the vision has dimmed, and the internal systems have worn out. Still, how I dread that last goodbye, that scene at the veterinarian's office when he will be "put to sleep."

And yet, as I hold him and feel his thin shoulders, I know it is time. So I tell him so and start to cry. Monday, I tell him, I'll call and make the appointment. You've been so tough and brave, protecting me all your life, it's okay, you can rest now.

"You're a good dog," I tell him, and he responds with a quiver. "It's me you've been waiting for, I finally understand. I love you, and I'll never forget you. I wish you could be with me my whole life, but I'm ready, it's okay."

I get up and go into the other room, turn on the computer and try to work for a while, crying and writing.

When I return 20 minutes later, Kliban has gone, with dignity and peace, protecting me this one last time.

He is wrapped in a quilt made of T-shirts from the running races he helped me train for, and buried in a shady spot with a view of the mountains. And he is somewhere yonder, on the long trail, where he has gone ahead to wait for me.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 11:59 AM

I goofed up the 4th verse of DOG. It should be:

Sometimes friends drop over for a couple of beers
And we all take turns scratching his ears and calling him
It's been that way ever since he was a pup.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 12:20 PM

Where's KT? Her song It's A Dog's Life is wonderful.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 01:25 PM

So sorry to hear of your loss, DW. He was a beautiful boy. I think the kids' version of You Are My Sunshine is precious, heartfelt and personal. They, and you, did a great job. Good for you for giving them such an outlet, esp. their own "park" complete with critters.

Please let us know how the memorial turns out.

kat


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Joybell
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 07:41 PM

Dave's Wife --that song the children wrote is lovely. A very special song for a very special friend.
Joy


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Genie
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 07:43 PM

James Thurber (I think. If not, it could have been William Saroyan. I sometimes get them mixed up.) wrote a wonderful essay on the passing of the old dog that his children had grown up with. I vaguely remember the piece ending with something along the lines that she looked up at him with big, understanding eyes "as if to say 'And this is as natural as chasing the rabbits or having the puppies or playing with a ball."   (The only words that are probably his are the "This is as natural as ... having the puppies ... ."   The others are approximations.)

I'd love to find that essay again.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: open mike
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 07:51 PM

that Bryan Bowers quoted song is the Tom Dundee song i mentioned above
"Harry"(So I settled on Harry, just because Hairy he is and hairy he was
And that's how the house gets more and more as time goes by.)


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 08:31 PM

Sorry to hear about your loss, Dave's Wife.
As for songs, one of mine died with me singind Alan Bell's song "So Here's To You (And our time together...).

Here's a short poem by Kipling, which I have on my wall...

I have done mostly what most men do,
And put it out of my mind;
But I can't forget, if I wanted to,
Four-feet trotting behind.

Day after day, the whole day through -
Wherever my road inclined -
Fou-feet said "I'm coming with you!"
And trotted along behind

Now I must go by some other round -
Which I may never find -
Somewhere that does not carry the sound
Of Four-feet trotting behind.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 11:26 PM

Bonecruncher - what a wonderful poem. Thanks for the citation. I have several great poems to choose from now in addition to our rewritten "Your Are My Sunshine" song. Thanks to everyone for their kind suggestions


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Gypsy
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 11:57 PM

Mrs. Dave.......you and the kids did a fantastic job on the song, my hat is off to all of you. Make certain to tell the kids about the rainbow bridge.....will be good for everyone. Blessings be to all of you. I couldn't imagine life here without our four.......usually have a pommie or two under my hammered dulcimer when i play.....and himself has them draped about him when playing the mando.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 12:54 AM

BUSTER THE LINE DANCIN' DAWG


Well one evening me and Buster wuz watchin' CMTV
Billy Ray Cyrus, was singin country music, purty as can be
When Buster started dancing - I could not believe my eyes
He did a box step left, a grapevine right, then he sashayed round real nice.

Oh he's Buster the line dancing dawg
Much purtier than a picture by Van Gawg
You should old Buster strut his stuff
Wag his tail and go woof woof woof
Buster the line dancing dawg.

So me and Buster took a line dance class - one night for a special treat
I was looking just like Clint Eastwood, Buster was Lee Van Cleef
he can do The Freeze and Flying C's, and Shake it with the Red Neck Girls
Wagging his tail down the Line Dance trail, he's smartest dawg in the world


Oh he's Buster the line dancing dawg
Much purtier than a picture by Van Gawg
You should old Buster strut his stuff
Wag his tail and go woof woof woof
Buster the line dancing dawg.

Now I believe in the American way
Evrybody should be free, to develop special talents
And thet goes double for Buster an me
One day dawgs like Buster will be in ev'ry line dance team
Man and dawg, hand in paw will live the 'Merican dream


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Genie
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 05:00 AM

Bill Imhoff, a singer-songwriter from the Pacific NW, has a wonderful song called "Dog At the Wheel," inspired by those times when you're on the road and you see a dog with his head leaning out of the cab of a pickup so that it looks like the dog is driving.   Maybe one of my Pac. NW compatriots has the words.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: kendall
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 06:26 AM

Open Mike, Just a dog they say?
No dog ever turned on me,
No dog ever lied about me
No dog ever betrayed me.

...me, I choose a child of Pan...
reserve a place for me, come from a lesser race.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 08:01 AM

All these dog songs are are really great! Maybe I can work them into some afternoon sessions with the kids after the funeral. Some of the kids have dogs too, mostly little yip yippers or Chihuahas becuase they live in apartments but adults who walk their big dogs are known to stop by and bring their doggies if they see the kids hanging out in the yard.

Maybe one way to assuage our grief would be to have a party for all the other dogs in a couple weeks and sing a bunch of fun songs about dogs and play some of these new ones like the line Dancin' dog. They'd love that. I could make up Doggie Goody bags for the other dogs with all the treats, chew bones and rawwide stix I have leftover. I used to by Puppers' fave chewies in bulk but he declined to chew much in the past few months. I have some nice Cow Kneecaps and dried Sheeps lungs too! We can make some dog-friendly 'Pup-Cakes" and I can even bake up some homamade liversnaps. Could be fun, eh? I bet we can round up a dozen dogs easily.

It would be a good way to let the neighborhood know that I still want them to bring their poochies by to play in the yard evenings and weekends. Some people have stayed away because they think I will see their dog and get all sad and upset. Nothing could be further from the truth!


As for the song -
Some of us have been rehearsing our version of Your Are My Sunshine but find some of lines a little awkward to sing. Any suggestions for smoothing it out some? Now that all the basic sentiments are in there, any tweaks or word switcheroos you might suggest would be welcome.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 05:06 PM

I don't find your words awkward at all. I could get all the lines to scan with no changes if I phrased them properly, but here are two possible changes:


"and we grew up with you over the years" You might drop the "and"

"You liked children and even kittens" Maybe a "Well" at the start of this line.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Genie
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 02:33 AM

I tried tweaking the "Sunshine" dog song a little to make it scan more like "You Are My Sunshine.

Here's what I came up with:

To the tune of "Your Are My Sunshine"

Chorus and first verse:
You were our best friend, our very best friend.
You brought us sunshine when skies were grey.
We hope you know, boy, how much we loved you.
Now that sunshine's been taken away.

Verses:

You were a good dog, the very best dog,
And all the time you would wag your tail
You never barked, bit, or even snarled at
The lady carrier who brings us our mail.

We'd brush your coat and we'd scratch your tummy
And pet your velvety pointy ears.
You won our hearts when you were a puppy,
And that love grew through all of those years.

How you loved children! And even kittens!
You loved to play with the boys and girls!
You'd get excited when we came over,
You were the best dog in all of the world.

But now you've gone on to doggie heaven,
And though we're sad, we'll try not to cry,
But one more time we'll say how we loved you
And give you one last "woof-woof" goodbye.

Then (Group howl)


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Grab
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 09:02 AM

I've been a wild rover
Howling at the moon

Anything by Howling Wolf, Three Dog Night or the Wolfe Tones.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:45 PM

Genie - thank you EVER so much for your rewrite. it's simply marvelous. We'll give it a run through this afternoon when the kids come by after school. They've really enjoyed reworking the song and I think showing them this slightly different version will be a good learning experience for them. I'll let them pick which lines they feel phrase best for them although in general, I like your version much better for elegance and ease. I also like the idea of everybody woofing and howling at the end.

Our service is set for saturday afternoon. I am so thankful to you all for your help with this. Using an older tune such as this turned out to be a great idea. the children know the melody and have been working at singing the new lyrics enthusiastically. They aren't even really that sad anymore although I think they will get a bit emotional when it comes time to scatter his ashes. The new words don't dwell much on death and it should prove to be a nice little get-together. Several adults who are coming are bringing their own dogs so the kids will have a some to pet and fuss over.

genie, I like your version so much I hope you'd share it with others who might use it as a base for their own doggie memorials. The children have decided that they prefer the title 'our Doggie Sunshine" to "Goodbye to our sunshine" and I think that's appropriate.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Genie
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 10:11 PM

Dave'sWife, glad my lyric suggestions were helpful.   This is the folk process, so rewrites and tweaking and picking and choosing are fair game for all.

Remember also that how well a line scans depends on things like rests (pauses), syncopation, and phrasing (e.g., whether you sing a different syllable on every note or not). So your original lyrics might scan just fine.

Sounds like it's going to be a doggie memorial that's just what a tribute to a dear friend should be.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 02:56 AM

Hi Snuffy
I was gonna mention "Bellman" but you were already there with it. I was tickled that you followed up with Ol Shep. It was a right proper thing to have followed it up with too. I was at a session, it's gotta be 20-25 years ago & the great fiddler Seamus Connelly ask me to sing something (he used to do that to when he wanted a break) so I did Bellman & he followed it up with the Doris Day song on fiddle & did a wonderful job too, mind you of "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window". I now say that I been twice honored by singing that song, I guess it's just a good luck song for me & a good one to bury a dog by too.

Another dog song I've always been fond of is "The Hound Dawg Song" also called "They Gotta Quite Kicking my Dog Around". Not really a dead dog song but it is a howl. Droole!

Barry


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 11:19 AM

Barry_Finn - I thought of How Much is That Doggie in the Window and so did the kids. Had we not gotten off to such a smashing start with Your Are My Sunshine, I was considering using Doggie In the Window for the tune to our tribute.

We're doing very well with genie's version of Our Doggie Sunshine and things should go very well tomorrow. All that's left to do is go pick up his ashes.

I am going to sugest the idea of an Autumn festival party for the other doggies if this goes well. After discussing it with the children, they expressed an interest in having bobbing for apples and other suitable activities. We'll most likely have to hold it in mid to late october. That should give it enough distance from the memorial so they won't be sad to come back over to our yard. The kids really would like a shot at singing some of the other songs that were mentioned. They had no idea there were so many poems and songs about dogs.

Thanks again. We're going to send Puppers off with style and then have a happy dog party in a month or less. Everybody wins!


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Scoville
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 03:59 PM

Did the dog have a favorite song?

I'm not kidding. Our old dog loved "Happy Birthday"--he would get all excited and howl like crazy--so my parents sang that for him before they had to have him put down. Not very funereal but it was what Ootek would most have liked had he been in any shape to enjoy it.

I once had to help sing "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" to a dead cocker spaniel when I was a vet tech. I don't know that the dog was a music lover but it was a special song to the owner.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:21 PM

Keep us posted, DW.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Becca72
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:32 PM

I loved "Old Shep" when I was a child. I seem to remember requesting it from my dad a lot(that and "Jesse James"..I had a thing for death). But I have to say that given the age range of the kids you're talking about including in the service I think it's a little too sad. I lost my 13 old cat in the spring and a couple of days after was listening to dad's first album (recently obtained in CD form) while driving home from work. "Old Shep" caused me to have to pull over and have a really good cry before I could make it the rest of the way home. I think it would be too much for the kids to handle.
The changes to "You are my Sunshine" would be wonderful, IMO


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: lamarca
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:06 PM

There is an excellent Kipling poem that's probably a bit too grim for the kids, but really struck me to the bone when my childhood companion, our family's cocker spaniel, Ginger, finally died.

The Power of the Dog by Rudyard Kipling - from Actions and Reactions

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 passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for 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-time 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?


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: GUEST,Bee
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 10:33 PM

Dave's Wife, I'm sorry for your loss, and think your response to the local kids has been lovely. And what a lot of great dog songs and stories! I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes: it's been almost a year since our big old mutt died, and I miss her terribly.


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: Genie
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 02:02 AM

Daves'Wife, you do know that Doggie In the Window is a bark-along song, don't you?

This is a song I often do at nursing homes and some assisted living residents (if people don't take themselves too seriously).   Not only does the group do "Arf! Arf!" or variations thereon after every 1st and 3rd line, plus appropriate cat and parrot noises in the obvious lines in the second verse, but after the "bowl of little fishies" line I ask them to "make a noise like a fish," and you never know what you're going to get in response to that. Then on the last verse, instead of "scare them away with his bark," instead of singing "bark," I go into my "attack pomeranian" impression -- which sometimes gets nearby dogs joining in the 'singing'.   Then, of course, we all do a group howl.

I don't know how appropriate this would be for a memorial service, but it can be a fun song to be for groups that love dogs and enjoy looking (and sounding) silly.

G


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 08:20 PM

Bronte by Gotye (The song is actually about a family and their dog Brontewho had to be euthanized).


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 06:40 AM

Mike Heron (ex-ISB) wrote a touching country-style tribute to his childhood pet dog on his 1975 Reputation album. By chance it's on YouTube; 211 listens since October 2009, sounds about right...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooib0fy5Kx0


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: GUEST,Gio
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 03:41 PM

I LOVE MY DOG by Cat Stevens


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Subject: RE: Song(s) for dog memorial service?
From: GUEST,Guest:: Michael William Harrison
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 12:22 AM

Yes, as mentioned earlier, "Bugler" by The Byrds on their "Farther Along" disc is really a fine song about a boy and his dog - I just love it. Also, there is a fine group from Baton Rouge, LA named "Smithfield Fair" and on one of their recent CD's they have a song titled "Greyfriars Bobby" which is just a joyful song about the loyalty of a dog. Good luck. Cheers.


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