Have You Ever Dug A Grave?


I’m a massive fan crime and murder mystery novels.
I love the twists and turns, the surprises and the scares.
It’s all so good!

And a line from a number of these books,
that came to me today was . .

“If you ever have to dig a grave, dig two.
Because digging a 6″ grave will kill you.”

And today,
I had to dig a grave.
For my old man Horatio.

I had tenderly rested him in an old cheese box
Wrapped in one of his blankets,
his head gently tugged down
and his little paws bent.

He looked snug and peaceful.


I left him on the floor,
at the foot of my bed,
As if he was just sleeping.

He was still slightly warm when
I myself
went to bed.
He was cold when I woke up this morning.

And I knew,
that I had to face my reality.

The reality that after nine years,
I now only had two dogs in my house.

One of my beautiful Boys was gone.
For good.

God, this is so painful to write.


Digging his grave was awful.
Simply awful.

And I knew,
from all my mystery novels,
that I had to dig a hole FAR bigger than what I thought I would need.

And so I dug a big and deep hole.

And I placed Horatio’s little box in it.
Then I laid some roses,
and a wooden heart
on top of his box.

I couldn’t stand the thought of sand touching his little body,
even through the blanket,
so I placed pine branches over the top of his make-shift coffin.

Shovelling the dirt back into the hole,
I watched as the sand
filtered down through the gaps in the pine needles
and filled the gaps of air.

I kissed him before I covered him.

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He was cold and stiff,
but he was still my beautiful Boy.
He drove me mad on so many occasions
in the last fifteen and a half years.

He barked a lot.
Pissed inside.
Lately he’d even taken to defecating inside.

But I still loved him.
So very much.

And I don’t give a flying fuck,
that to most people,
crying over the euthanasia of an old dog,
is just purely sad.

I LOVED him.

He and Jack, and to a slightly lesser degree Max,
are the only beings on this hole Earth who have not hurt me deeply.

they LOVED me.
They really loved me.
And I loved them back.

I loved them so much that it hurt.

It hurts now.
God it hurts.

Horatio my little Emperor of the World.

Horatio - Ruler of the World

Horatio – Ruler of the World

I miss you so much.

I love you Old Man.
I love you.
Forever and F-O-R-E-V-E-R.







4 responses »

  1. This is love. Thank you for sharing.
    Yes I have had to dig many graves.
    Each one sad.
    One thing that my kids like…
    I ask them, go get me the biggest rock you can find.
    I then carve the animals name into it. Sharp object works or dremmel.
    There. Always.

    • Thank you for these words. I haven’t been able to say before now.

      I very much intend to use your suggestion and make a headstone – now, for both of my Boys.

  2. Pia, I dropped back in to see how you are going. I cried when I read your post. I understand how you would feel about Horatio’s passing. You gave him a beautiful service. My dog is fifteen now, mini poodle (same colour as Horatio) and your writing has given me a bit of headspace to manage when I have to do what you just did. Thoughts are with you. I will tell Ginger to find Horatio when he goes over the Rainbow Bridge as they say. Love and strength to you Dear. Xxx thank you for your words.

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