A Poem For A Faraway Future

She fell asleep with a large smile on her face. The kind of smile that someone has looking back at their life and enjoying it again the second time around.

Yesterday I posted A Golden Star Rises about our final days with our rescue greyhound Ruby. It was written from the perspective of our rescue whippet Eivor, recalling his precious final moments with her.

Today, I am writing about our farewell from a human perspective.

At a spiritual level, saying farewell to Ruby was about letting her know that she was free to go when she felt ready.

At a mental and emotional level it was about letting her know that she could spend her time in ways that made her feel happy.

At a physical level, our vet had made it clear there was going to be a gradual shutdown of her organs and her energy levels would deplete more rapidly when she was physically active. If we reduced her exercise, she might live a few extra days.

Ruby wanted to go out and walk. She wanted to run with a ball. We did not want to disappoint her. For us, her final days were about her and what she wanted to do.

We supported her choices spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Her final days were the most energetic days she enjoyed in a long time.

She looked out over the bay, soaking in the smells, the sights and the sounds as if she wanted to take them all with her on her final journey.

On the day of her passing she insisted on coming on a walk with the rest of the pack. She took in the smells, sights and sounds of the river, the birds and the familiar faces we saw.

She fell asleep with a large smile on her face. The kind of smile that someone has looking back at their life and enjoying it again the second time around.


I first met Ruby at a shelter where I was volunteering at the time. One of our other rescue dogs, Fergal, had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Ruby jumped up at me licking my face, leaning into me and she would not let me out of her kennel.

When I came home that day I heard myself say to my husband: “How would you feel about adopting a third rescue dog?” It was an easy conversation and an hour later we were back at the shelter with our other dogs in tow.

Seamus, Fergal and Ruby greeted each other like long lost friends. The boys stood either side of her as if to say: “We are not leaving here without her.” When we drove home it was as if she had always been part of the pack.

She walked beside me off the lead on our first walk together as if she had always been walking by my side. I wrote a poem for her after that first walk:


Ruby the Greyhound

Your elegant eyes
light up and
your merlin fur
rises forward
when you proudly
walk beside me,
silently understanding
what I never asked
of you.

© Xenia Tran

(First published in Lapidus Quarterly, Winter 2007, Vol 2 Issue 3)


I had no idea back then that the same poem would be just as apt in a faraway future, after our final walk together.

With love to you all,
Xenia xxx


Photograph by Xenia Tran, unedited.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA.

Daily Prompt: Faraway

dVerse Poets Open Link Night #183

Author: whippetwisdom

The stories, poems and photographs on this blog are the original creative work of Xenia Tran. Inspired by life in the Scottish Highlands and in awe of nature she gives voice to the wisdom of her two adopted whippets Eivor and Pearl.

28 thoughts on “A Poem For A Faraway Future”

    1. Thank you Brian. She was taking it all in as if she wanted to take all her happy memories with her. We were blessed to share eight wonderful years with her. She was bred for racing and found as a stray with a lot of health problems.


  1. I was heartened to hear that you allowed Ruby to make her own choices on her last few days and love that she passed away with a smile on her sweet face. Thanks for sharing such a heartwarming part of your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words Gayle. We have seen many people turn afraid of losing their dog near the end and not letting them do what they enjoy. Ruby let us know so clearly what she wanted and it was a blessing we could let her go on her terms.


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Although it is never easy to let someone go who has been by my side 24/7 Ruby made the experience as beautiful, profound and loving as it could be under the circumstances and for that I will always be so grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You did right, Xenia. I remember taking our cat (one of many) who was dying outside at 2am because I felt he would want to see and smell the night. I was right: Mouse crouched on the ground, looking up at the trees, seeing things I never could, smelling the night and hearing things for the last time. That stuck with me for years. It’s about their last days, not ours. Sometimes the vets are wrong. This brought me to tears, Xenia, but right now, many things bring me to tears.

    what a wonderful mom you are!

    Blessings and love from here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words dear Jane and for sharing your story about Mouse. What a wonderful last gift you gave him to set his spirit free. Much love to all of you from all of us and have a blessed weekend ☺💖

      Liked by 1 person

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