I, Silverdene Emblem O'Neill (familiarly known to my family, friends &
acquaintances as Blemie), because the urden of my years and infirmities is
heavy upon me, and I realize the end of my life is near, do hereby bury my
last will and testament in the mind of my Master. He will not know it is
there until after I am dead. Then, remembering me in his loneliness, he
will suddenly know of this testament, and I ask him to inscribe it as a
memorial to me.
I have little in the way of material things to leave. Dogs are wiser than
men. They do not set great store upon things. They do not waste their days
hoarding property. They do not ruin their sleep worrying about how to keep
the objects they have, and to obtain objects they have not.
There is nothing of value I have to bequeath except my love and my loyalty.
These I leave to all those who have loved me, especially to my Master and
Mistress, who I know will mourn me the most.
I ask my Master and my Mistress to remember me always, but not to grieve for
me too long. In my life, I have tried to be a comfort to them in time of
sorrow, and a reason for added joy in their happiness. It is painful for me
to think that even in death I should cause them pain.
Let them remember that while no dog has ever had a happier life (and this I
owe to their love and care for me), now that I have grown blind and deaf
and lame, and even my sense of smell fails me so that a rabbit could be
right under my nose and I might not know, my pride has sunk to a sick,
I feel life is taunting me with having overlingered my welcome. It is time
I said good-bye, before I become too sick a burden on myself and on those
who love me.
It will be a sorrow to leave them, but not a sorrow to die. Dogs do not
fear death as men do. We accept it as part of life, not as
something alien and terrible which destroys life. What may come after
death, who knows?
I would like to believe that there is a Paradise. Where one is always young
and full-bladdered. Where all the day one dillies and
dallies. Where each blissful hour is mealtime. Where in the long evenings
there are a million fireplaces with logs forever burning,
and one curls oneself up and blinks into the flames and nods and dreams,
remembering the old brave days on earth and the love of one's Master and
I am afraid that this is too much for even such a dog as I am to expect.
But peace, at least, is certain. Peace and a long rest for
my weary old heart and head and limbs, and eternal sleep in the earth I have
loved so well.
Perhaps, after all, this is best.
One last request, I earnestly make. I have heard my Mistress say, "When
Blemie dies we must never have another dog. I love him so much I could
never love another one". Now I would ask her, for love of me, to have
another. It would be a poor tribute to my memory never to have a dog again.
What I would like to feel is that, having once had me in the family, she
cannot live without a dog!
I have never had a narrow, jealous spirit. I have always held that most
dogs are good. My successor can hardly be as well loved or as well mannered
or as distinguished and handsome as I was in my prime. My Master and
Mistress must not ask the impossible. But he will do his best, I am sure,
and even his inevitable defects will help by comparison to keep my memory
To him I bequeath my collar and leash and my overcoat and raincoat He can
never wear them with the distinction I did, all eyes fixed on me in
admiration; but again I am sure he will do his utmost not to appear a mere
gauche provincial dog.
I hereby wish him the happiness I know will be his in my old home.
One last word of farewell, dear Master and Mistress. Whenever you visit my
grave, say to yourselves with regret but also with happiness in your hearts
at the remembrance of my long, happy life with you:
"Here lies one who loved us and whom we loved". No matter how deep my sleep
I shall hear you and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from
wagging a grateful tail.
I will always love you as only a dog can.
by Eugene O'Neill