LAST WILL & TESTAMENT
OF A LOVED DOG
BY EUGENE O'NEILL
I, Silverdene Emblem O'Neill
(familiarly known to my family, friends & acquaintances as
Blemie), because the burden 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
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, bewildered humiliation.
I feel life is taunting me with having
over lingered 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 & 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.