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Paw Prints in My Heart

A final conversation with my dog the day that Kandi died.

by Greg Asimakoupoulos
July 14, 2006

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Paw Prints in My Heart
As I look in your trusting eyes
to say my tearful last goodbyes,
I find it hard to let you go.
You're such a part of me.

The years we shared are now a blur
since you were but a ball of fur.
I still can see you in my mind
unleashed and running free.

But now you're sick and not yourself.
I grieve to know you've lost your health.
Yet you brought boundless joy to me.
I hope somehow you know.

And as I stroke your shiny coat,
a lump grows large within my throat.
I wonder if you understand
this really is farewell.

You look at me as if to say,
"Just stay with me. Don't go away."
And so I will, my little one
as you lay down to sleep.

And though the time has come to part,
you've left your paw prints in my heart.
A heart that breaks imagining
my life when you are gone.

This poem is dedicated to the memory of Kandi Kisses Asimakoupoulos who passed away in the poet's arms on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 one week shy of her 15th birthday. It was written a couple hours before the mobile vet arrived to facilitate the necessary procedure.

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Claudia from Carol Stream, IL writes:
July 14, 2006
We said goodbye to our 18-year-old Tzi Tzu, Ginsing, the day after Christmas last year, and buried him out in the woods near our home. I was going to plant forget-me-nots on his grave this spring, and went out to do it, only to find that God had already abundantly taken care of the sowing for me, in a place where there had never been forget-me-nots before! God is indeed good to give us such companions and their love, and to remind us that, as He cares for the littlest and the least, so He cares for us. Yes, the pawprints will be in our hearts forever.

veona McHone from Salisbury,NC USA writes:
July 14, 2006
Thank you so much for sharing your lovely poem and your heart. Kandie must have been a REAL TRESURE.

God Bless,Vee

Judy from Wheaton, IL writes:
July 21, 2006
What a sweet tribute to your dog. It made me recall saying goodbye to our dog Emmy Lou when she was 13 and I was 20. I'm sure your girls shed many tears as well.

mattie from 7115n stewart rd 65 liberty mo 64068 writes:
July 29, 2006
Sorry about your dogs death. I too have lost two dogs but am happy with another schnauzer who is the love of my life and she owns me! May God Bless You and please, get another dog. We dog lovers must stick together. Mattie

M. Marshall from Mi writes:
August 3, 2006
Dear Mr. Asimakoupoulos,

I so know how you feel. I had to finally put my beloved collie, Duncan, to sleep this last spring. I raised him from 5 and half weeks to 10 and a half years. He had lupus and had gone into remission, but then got very ill again. He was a big part of my life. I still miss him sorely.

Michele from Channahon, IL writes:
August 11, 2006
Thank you for your wonderful tribute. We lost our beloved Buddy a year ago. The only dog in the world to look like the REAL Cuddly Duddly. I thought I'd finished my tears for him. I too sat with him while he was put down. It was a privilege to hold him one last time.

Mike from MN writes:
September 22, 2006
Thank you for sharing this poem. Although it breaks my heart to read it, I'm glad I did. I have to take my best friend, my Yorkie Maxx in today to have it done. I am so scared and so sad. He has been a constant in my life for so long, I'm afraid of being without him. I will never go through this again. Everyone says to get another dog but I can't... losing them hurts too much.

Greg Asimakoupoulos from Seattle writes:
September 22, 2006
Mike, I feel your pain. I know what you are going through today. May your memories sustain you. Take courage in knowing you are giving your pet the ultimate act of love.

Marlene G from Minnesota writes:
December 22, 2006
Greg - Paw Prints in my Heart touched me and tears began to flow down my cheeks profusely as I read this. My wonderful Sheltie companion died December 1 and it has been 21 days since he has left us. Tears come easily, but the memories are great, and we shall never forget - He will always be in our hearts - your tribute to Kandi could have been written by me, as these are exactly my thoughts. Thank you so much.

Steven Zeluck from San Francisco writes:
January 26, 2008
Thank you Greg. This poem brought me right to the edge of the falls (of my tears that is).

In your tender emotions towards your pet I find my feelings towards mine perfectly mirrored.

Margarita from Spain writes:
July 26, 2008
Beautiful poem. I am mourning for the loss of one of my beloved animal companions, a noble
Samoyedo called Berlioz, who left us a month and a half ago. He was 11 years old, had a wonderful life and had been ill for just a couple of days. He seemed to have recovered but in 4 days was ill again, for just another day. He died at home, on the night of the 12th of June. I miss him so much and though I hope we will meet again, I would so much like to hug him again! People who have not known the experience of sharing their life with animal companions do not know how much they mean, how much richer they make your life. How can they establish any difference and say that our soul is immortal and theirs is not? If ours is, surely theirs too, if theirs is not, I'm afraid neither is ours.
Thanks for the poem.

Bill Reely from Minnesota writes:
October 16, 2009
We understand the feelings these words came from. We lost our 12 1/2 year old Weimaraner the 24 th of September. Sat up with her all the last night of her life comforting her and then opened the curtains to a clear sunrise before the vet came out to the house. She came to live with us as a pup and grew up with the kids who are now away at college. To all of you who have loved your dogs, I know what this poem expresses. I will miss Duchess every day for the rest of my life. She left paw prints indeed. We will see you again little girl.

Gino Formaroli from Trenton, NJ writes:
June 4, 2010
Your poem was a welcome comfort in my time of sorrow, Although it was hard to read through the tears, word for word rang true. Our beloved cat "Suzie" passed less than 48 hours ago, after a long battle with cancer, she was 14 years old. She loved our bedroom and spent so much of her free time there, I have yet to sleep since her passing, because I can't bear to go into that room without her waiting for me to lie down so she can find her favorite spot. But fatigue is starting to set in, And I will remember your words as I hold her favorite blanket close to chest. And pray to the Lord that she is in a better happy place. Again, Thank You

Lesleigh Helders from San Diego, CA writes:
July 12, 2010
Thank you for sharing your touching poem. It explains perfectly how I'm feeling today...the day I have to put my Cassidy down. It is a beautiful poem.

Gino Formaroli from Trenton, NJ writes:
December 30, 2010
So Soon after losing My Suzie this Past June, Today we had to say Goodbye to her brother, Johnny, His illness was rather short, and he fought bravely, But My heart tonight is so broken, Johnny was the most kindest gentlest soul I have ever known, for almost 15 years he filled our house with Joy and our hearts with love. I miss you so much already My Johnnycat, I just thank God that your end was serene and painless, and That I was there to hold your little head in my hand as you left us. i don't even want to think about tomorrow or the days to come without you, but I must, especially to lay you down to final rest with dignity and grace. I only hope that what I can do for you now can come close to what you gave us, I believe that someday I will see you and Suzie again. but even with that consolation I cannot begin to understand how to stop the pain in my soul. Wherever you are now, I know it is a place without pain and only warmth and love. Some may not understand the bond we shared, but I know and will never forget. and will always thank God for letting us have the love you gave us, rest in peace my little man, you were a true gentleman in all you were. Dear Lord give him rest and peace, and let him know always how much he was and always will be loved.

Rose from Aurora, CO writes:
July 8, 2011
Years after your loss of Kandi Kisses, your poem lives on to stir the heart of everyone who has loved and lost a pet. Thank you.

Alex McV writes:
July 13, 2011
Your poem makes me tear up every time I read it. I had to put my first dog down a little over a month ago and it still hurts my heart to come home and see his spot on the couch empty. Rocky was 11 years old and he went into kidney failure quickly, and I had to say goodbye. I miss him everyday.
Thank you for your poem again. Its beautiful.

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Sunday Rhymes & Reasons
Published June 4, 2009

Sunday Rhymes and Reasons is a compilation of inspirational poetry by America's pastor/poet laureate, Greg Asimakoupoulos. In this, his third volume of poetry, Pastor Greg paints word pictures that portray both the struggle and fulfillment that define a life of faith. His repertoire of rhymes celebrate rite-of-passage occasions like birth, baptism, marriage and death as well as the major holidays of the church and culture. It is a volume that illustrates the poet's love of words and of popular culture. The author dips his brush into a paint box of hubris, humor and honesty.

"Gloria and I have been encouraged by word pictures from Greg's pen that have celebrated both our ministry and God's presence in our world."Bill Gaither, Gospel music composer/performer

"Gifted poet Greg Asimakoupoulos is a dear friend of our family. His poetry blesses, comforts, entertains, and provides inspiration for every season of life."Natalie Grant, singer/songwriter/recording artist

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