Downeast Dog News

A poem for Dallas

By Jenn Rich | Apr 24, 2017

This is a poem that was shared with us by readers Jimmy and Ida Lancaster. Jimmy wrote it after losing their beloved dog Dallas.


Dallas (May 2003-March 2017)

Jimmy got Dallas when he was six weeks old

A chocolate lab puppy—what a sight to behold.

After a year at ‘Ole Miss’ Jimmy gave up

It was up to Ida to take care of his pup.


From that day forward Dallas was HER baby

He was HER dog—that was no maybe.

He chewed up everything—shoes and the door

He scratched up the furniture and peed on the floor.


Our house in Summertree had a pool and a lake

We’d throw him a frisbee and off he would take

Dog paddling to the middle he never seemed tired

Perpetual energy—that’s how he was wired.


He walked in the morning with the leash in his mouth

Around the block he led us—maybe north maybe south.

Pity the squirrel if they caught Dallas’s eye

Up a tree he would chase them till they climbed up too high.


After we moved to Reunion, he liked to stay inside

He had his own lounge chair and got a daily golf cart ride.

We’d say “Dallas load up” and without missing a beat

He’d jump right in and perch on the seat.


We’d cruise for a while, usually right before dark

We’d let him get down when he started to bark

His signal to poop—that was his habit

Then he’d run off to chase a deer or a rabbit.


When he was finally worn out, he’d hop right back in

Panting and sweating, with dirt on his chin

The last block from home we’d let him get out

And he’d race with the golf cart back to the house.


Sometimes at night he jumped in our bed

A huge chocolate lab asleep by our head

After awhile he would move to his chair

Or to Jake’s twin bed if he wasn’t there.


When Dallas was older we moved far away

To Maine by the ocean in the town of Boothbay

Two walks into town was his daily routine

No one could believe he was almost fourteen.


Like the Mick Jagger of Boothbay as he strolled down the street.

He knew every place that would give him a treat.

First, Two Salty Dogs for their Bully Sticks

Then a treat at the bank and cold water at Slicks.


Then more treats at the Boat Bar & petted by Rusty

Then home past the bridgehouse & growling at Dusty.

People would stop us to pet him and smile

Tell stories of their pets they’d had for a while.


When winter arrived, we couldn’t walk twice

It was too hard for Dallas to stand on the ice

We laughed when he buried his face in the snow

He looked like a polar bear—white head to toe


Occasionally at night he’d escape for a roam

We’d drive through the town only to find him back home

Perched at the front porch, happy as can be

Staring at us like “were you looking for me?”


Dallas was simple and easy to please

Like his head out the car window feeling the breeze.

He was so happy with life’s simple pleasures

Bacon and steak were two of his treasures.


But this winter was different -- we sensed something wrong

His usual walks seemed to take way too long

Then when he got sick we thought “no big deal”

Just a few days of rest and surely he’d heal.


We took him to Portland to the Emergency Vet

An overnight stay and he’d be good as new—no sweat.

But the news that we got was the worst it could be

Dallas had cancer—no hope could they see.


They wheeled Dallas in strapped to a gurney

We kissed him and hugged him before his next journey

Across the Rainbow Bridge to his heavenly home

Then a shot from the Vet and Dallas was gone.


There’s not a lot that makes grownups cry

But the look from our dog when we said goodbye

He stared at our faces--no judgement or malice

While we burst into tears for our precious Dallas.