Recently, I have had three close friends lose beloved dog companions; I ache so much for each of them, knowing all too well the depth of grief I have experienced-- the emptiness, the silence, the moments that the grief takes hold in unexpected ways--the length of time it takes to be able to function without our soulmates.
As a professor of English at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY for 31 years, I continue to turn to literature to cope, to know others actually have felt as deeply as I do about such intense loss.
I invite you to take a look at Mary Oliver's Dog Songs, a collection of her dog poems from numerous collections, now all in one book. Not all of them are about grief and loss; many will make you laugh, others will have you nodding in agreement with her understanding of these precious companions.
Very recently, Linda Pastan has also published a collection of her dog poems, A Dog Runs Through It, where she shares the joy, the laughter , the responsibility , and the pain of having a dog in our lives.
Get ahold of a copy of these books and others, or just pull up some examples from the web, and let me know what you think. The first poems that comes to mind that I want to share with my friends I mentioned who are grieving are from Mary Oliver's collection; they are "The First Time Percy Came Back" and "Her Grave."