Songs About Dogs for When You Lose Your Dog
Remembering the Good Times and Honoring the Love
For many people, a pet is not just a pet. A pet is part of the family and to lose one can be crushing. Making the decision to put a dog or any other animal down is painful, but just as with any loss, it's important to hold on to the memory of the wonderful life you shared and the loving bond that will never be broken.
Music can be one way of dealing with this loss. Below, you will find dog songs that tell stories that are likely similar to your own—stories of living and loving a dog and then trying to go on after they are gone. Sometimes, knowing that your experience is shared can help.
In addition, you will find a handful of songs that may not have been written specifically about dogs, but they express some of the feelings one experiences when their companion passes on. They can give voice to the sadness, a reminder that your love goes on, and a chance to say goodbye with all of the gratitude your friend deserves.
The songs below may not be top hits or even current tunes, but they can provide the inspiration needed to fully experience our feelings, cope, and heal.
Stories About Good Dogs Who Are Gone
"It's Just a Dog"
In 2016, Mo Pitney recorded It's Just a Dog. It's all about grieving the loss of a best friend. The song tells the story of finding "his girl" as a stray in the rain, her ever-present companionship thereafter, and mourning her loss when she's gone.
Everyone who has ever loved a dog knows, they are never just a dog.
Apparently Henry Gross knows what it is like to grieve for a dog. In 1976 his song Shannon was popular. In it, a family finds itself mourning the passing of their dog. Gross reportedly had an Irish Setter name Shannon, but he wrote the song when he learned of the death of the Beach Boys Carl Wilson losing his Irish Setter.
"Little Boys Grow Up and Dogs Get Old"
The shorter life-span of dogs has been the cause of a lot of grief. Luke Bryan's song Little Boys Grow Up and Dogs Get Old from 2015 tells the story of growing up with a dog, leaving home as a nearly grown adult, and leaving behind an elderly best friend.
"Better With You There"
Dan Reising wrote and performed a tribute to a dog as well. This is a simple tune that tells the story of a man who misses a long time friend. Any working adult can easily see themselves in the situation described in Better With You There.
"I Will Always Be With You"
From the movie All Dogs Go To Heaven 2, the song I Will Always Be With You pays tribute to a bond that can never be broken. It speaks to the true and constant companionship between a person and a dog and how death doesn't change that. Sheena Easton and Jessie Corti recorded this song in 1996.
"My Old Dog"
If you've had an older dog you've had to put down, you really should understand this song found on YouTube. The song My Old Dog is about alleviating the pain of a pet, dealing with the despair of that decision, and knowing that they will eventually be together again.
This is a bit of a cheat because the following video doesn't showcase a dog song. Instead, it is simply a poem written and orally presented by actor Jimmy Stewart, who was a major talent in the 1940s-1970s.
In 1981, Stewart appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and performed a heartfelt reading of a tribute to his dog Beau. Both Stewart and Carson are genuinely affected.
A true country tune, Cracker Jack is a Dolly Parton song from 1974. It's the reminiscing of an adult who fondly remembers her childhood best friend, a dog named Cracker Jack.
"A Dog's Heart"
Another country gem on YouTube, A Dog's Heart from CRD Creative sings the praises of dogs and the gifts they bring us. In the end, of course, the dog is gone and we are left with the valuable lessons we learned from them.
"If I Could Talk"
This is another cheat, but it's a fitting way to end this particular collection. In the short film If I Could Talk, we see the bond between a dog and a man (and later a family) grow from puppyhood to old age. We see the final moments. But more importantly, we see the critical message that not only has a dog filled our lives with joy, love, and life lessons, but we have given him a full and joyous life as well. It's a message that anyone who has loved and lost a pet needs to understand.
Songs That May Give a Voice to Your Feelings
"I'll See You Again"
In I'll See You Again by Westlife you can reassure your heart with the thought that your companion is not truly gone from you and that you will be spiritually reunited one day.
"I Will Remember You"
Sarah McLachlan's I Will Remember You may serve as a way to express your desire to keep your pet alive in your heart. Any time a loved one passes, reliving memories of them allows us to continue to experience their love.
Bruce Springsteen's You're Missing describes how life goes on but things aren't the same, someone is missing and it creates a hole in your life. While so many people may not understand the grief of missing a pet, this song puts words to that feeling of loss.
"Because You Loved Me"
Dogs give us all of their happiness, energy, unconditional love, and much more. Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion is a song that puts our gratitude for all they share with us into words.
"This Is Not Goodbye"
Sidewalk Prophets' This Is Not Goodbye is another potential dog song for those grieving the loss of a pet even if that's not it's original intent. It is about bidding a gentle goodbye to a companion or loved one.
"Goodbye My Friend"
Goodbye My Friend by Linda Ronstadt is about the loss of a friend, accepting the uncertainty of life, and death. It tells us that the love we shared and time will ease the pain. It's not unusual for grief to linger, but being able to move forward and find joy in what was can be a healing force.
© 2018 Ruth Coffee