Rama, My Best Dog Friend by Dorothy Cresswell on Tuneful Tuesday

This sweet, thoughtful song is the first submission from member Dorothy Cresswell.

Dorothy Cresswell
Dorothy Cresswell

I recently put out a request for songs on the member list-serv about aging. The discussion has come around to the obvious next topic of death and dying. Some of you who teach have shared brave stories of actually naming and discussing with children the fact that living things, animals, and yes, people, die. But some parents and administrators and maybe even some co-workers wish you would stay away from such a difficult topic. Our own childhood songs of “The Old Gray Goose” and “My Grandfather’s Clock” used to be right in the music curriculum. Apparently not anymore.

So I thought I would share the song I wrote about ten years ago about my sweet dog, Rama, who died. I purposely shared it with my kindergarten class at the time and let them see his pictures and my tears. They asked lots of questions and listened to my answers and gave me hugs. Such natural curiosity, concern, and responses. As natural as life and death. In their young lives some had experienced the death of a pet or relative and some had not. But it helped them to understand that it happens. It helped them that I talked about my own loss. And it helped them to practice how to share their sadness, or be the ones who could be understanding friends, when death crosses their lives.

Our classroom hamster died. Our chicks hatched and some lived and some died. We had a foundation to carry us through. We loved to remember them, and we weren’t afraid to share our tears, and our hugs helped. Music helps name, honor, and remember.

Rama, My Best Dog Friend

By Dorothy Cresswell, copyright 2005

C                  G                C
Rama had great big brown eyes.
G                  C
Rama was a big round size.
G         C
Rama seemed so very wise,
F        G                   C
My best best dog friend, Rama.
F                     C
Rama was a great big boy.
F                        C
Rama’s name meant “full of joy.”
F
All the world was Rama’s toy!
C                               F
My best best dog friend, Rama.

Rama used to swim the lake.
Side by side we swam the lake.
He’d come back and shake, shake, shake!
My best best dog friend Rama.
Rama was so good to hug.
Great round chest felt warm and snug.
Warmed my feet just like a rug!
My best best dog friend, Rama.

Rama’s neck grew much too thick
Doctor said, “He’s very sick
Thought that he might die real quick
My best best dog friend Rama.
Rama lived another year
Wagging, leaning, staying near.
But his illness was quite clear,
My best best dog friend Rama.

Rama’s days came to an end;
Empty space where he had been.
How I missed my long-time friend,
My best best dog friend, Rama.
Now I miss him every day;
Miss his eyes and constant way
He’d look at me as if to say,
“I’m your best best dog friend, Rama!”

4 comments

  1. Wonderful song and a way to sing about death and dying. Maybe children could tailor this song to their own experiences with a pet or relative that has passed, and put in what they remember about that being. Thank you for this lovely song.

  2. I’m crying now remembering Rama’s leaving us. We surely do love our dogs, and get so much from them!

  3. A wonderful song. So simple and so poignant. I really like to AAAB rhyme scheme.

  4. Thank you for your responses. Love and loss and remembering are such rich parts of life, and I am glad if this song can help others to do the same. Yes, Patricia, definitely re-write this to fit the ones on our hearts at any turn…

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