Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Life Well Lived

Our friends and former next-door neighbors are saying goodbye today to their beloved Arlo. As hard as this day is - and heaven knows all of us who have loved and lost a cherished furry family member know how hard it is - it's also a day for celebrating love. How fortunate are we who have been loved by a dog! Dogs bring the very best kind of love into our lives. Selfless, freely given, no strings attached.

I had not planned to do a post about Arlo. However, this morning I got a text from my sister encouraging me to check Facebook for an update on a pitiful emaciated dog that they rescued 4 days ago (that's another story, will have to share that one next time). When I went to Facebook, instead of seeing Stray Dog's update, I saw the photo of Arlo above, accompanied by a poem written by the family's daughter Emily. It was beautiful and moving, and reading it felt like watching a slideshow of Arlo's life. I asked them if I could share it, and they said that both Arlo and Emily would like that. So here it is. Enjoy, and celebrate the unconditional love in your own life this day.

Bye Bye Bean

Of all the names that we ever made up,
Like Farlo and Bubner, The Bean always stuck.
From the days when you stuffed all our socks in your mouth,
You were even too little to climb onto the couch!

You grew mighty quick, your belly the quickest
That buttery middle was by far the thickest.
Every now and then dad bought you ice cream in town,
Mom gave you cookies when you jumped up and down.
In some of your snackage you were a bit naughty,
Like when you ate all that fudge from Lake Winnipesaukee.

That tummy of yours, always hungry for somethin'
Snarfed brownies and at least one blueberry muffin.
Although you seemed to prefer baby carrots or steak,
There was even that time you gave my finger a taste!

That tum tum, round and warm, loved a good rubbin'
You'd flop on your back, always ready for lovin'!
The butterybeaniest best morning snuggler,
You'd snort and wiggle your way under the covers.
You'd only surrender while actively petted.
Otherwise you'd say, tail thumping, "time for breakfast."

Into late years you'd play like a pup,
Squeaking toys, on your back, legs sticking up.
Remember "Go find Charlie...", "Who's out there...GO GET 'EM!"
You'd chase those deer the opposite direction!

Bean, you were indeed a hairy fellow,
So mom redecorated the whole house in yellow.
A toy carrot, a dishtowel, your Binky you'd find
To welcome each one of us home, each time.

You made great friends wherever you went,
Lives shaped by you are lives better spent.
Lessons you shared without any talking
Like patience, compassion; no judgment or mocking.
Thank you, my friend, for being around
Whether under the desk, or on the old brown couch.

Little Brother, Black Bead, Arlo Von Benard
Arlo Farlo Big Fat Yarlo, BFD, and Schmarl
The time has come, my sweet Bean, the time has come to rest
Come here, boy, come. Lay your head down on my chest.
Our hearts beat for you while you let out your last breath,
May so much love lift you to wherever you go next.

Thanks to Emily for this beautiful tribute, and for allowing me to share it.


  1. What a beautiful tribute to Arlo Breck. It's hard to lose such a special friend and companion but his love and commitment to the Brecks will always be a part of who they are as a family. It was my good fortune to meet Arlo about five years ago when his family moved in next door. When I encountered Arlo either as I was working in the yard or out for a walk, he would always greet me with his good natured doggy smile as if to say "hey, it's good to see you, can you pet me? and is that your dog I smell". He was always a pleasure to be around and l wish him well on this next leg of his journey. I hope you find Lucky and chase some cows!

  2. So very sweet, and so very kind of you to write this post for sweet Arlo and to share Emily's poem with us. Go rest high on that mountain Arlo! My prayers go out to his family.

  3. beautiful...I always say, the good lord made people and then said "naaaaah, I can do better than that....' and then he made dogs.

  4. Very beautiful tribute to Arlo. It is so painful to lose a lovely and dear friend... My warm affection to his family and friends. So sweet of you Brenda to did this kind homage.