The Day My Dog Died. ~ Ben Ralston

Via Ben Ralston
on Jun 5, 2013
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Jai as a puppy, near the spot where, 6 yrs later, he would be buried.
Jai as a puppy near the spot where, just 6 yrs later, he would be buried.

He loved me more than I loved him.

Although it hurts so much to admit it, he had more love in his whiskers than I have in my entire body. I’m a beginner at love—he, a master.

He barely left my side for 6 years. His name, when he found me, was Ben. And he is the most loyal, gentle, playful soul.

The day he died my whole life changed. A process began on that day—a process of remembering, and healing, and returning to health.

That was his gift to me. He loved me enough to gift me his death. Such beauty is what all of life is about.

Even after all this time,
the sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights the whole sky.


I dug a deep hole in the clinging clay-filled earth, by the young cherry tree. I wept as I dug, and I repeated:

Jai, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

Please forgive me…

But I instantly felt his forgiveness rain down on and through me, like the first glass of water after a long smoky night.

There is nothing to forgive“, he said, “because I understand.”

And I thanked him.

Thank you, thank you.

I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

And when the hole was deep I lifted his empty, rigid body into it. And I put one of his sticks in, and his blanket, and I wept like I’ve never wept before. I wept all of my grief and despair and loneliness out, and much of the grief and despair and loneliness of my ancestors.

Then I thanked him again, said goodbye and covered his body with earth and rocks.

I built a fire on that place and it burnt for a week without going out, even in the snow and the rain.

Each morning I came down and blew life into it, and each evening.

And finally, after a week, it went out.


About Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston is a therapist, healer, advanced Sivananda Yoga teacher, and writer. His writings have been read by millions of people and can be found on Elephant Journal, Rebelle Society, and various other portals online. He has been teaching Yoga for 16 years in hotels, ashrams, beaches, gyms and rooftops worldwide. And he runs a busy international therapeutic practice from his home in rural Croatia. Offering sessions in person or via Skype, his therapeutic work is based on healing trauma, and the tools he uses for this are varied – mainly RPT, Shamanism, and energy work. He has also developed some of his own methods, particularly in the area of abuse trauma; ‘resource state’ awareness; and boundary reconstruction. He regularly runs retreats combining Yoga and other energetic exercises with his therapy. He would love nothing more than to see you on one of these retreats, since he believes that this approach to personal development is really the only effective way of bringing love and peace to global human society. Connect with Ben on Facebook. Read more of his writing on his new website with integrated blog! Yes, he's excited about that :)


7 Responses to “The Day My Dog Died. ~ Ben Ralston”

  1. Jan says:

    Oh Ben it's not easy when we part with our furry friends.. in some ways it's harder than when humans leave us.. our fur babies never judge us. I shed tears reading your words, I feel your loss <3

  2. @madgroove says:

    R.I.P. Jai ~ I'm blowing him cosmic kisses…..Ben, you've just experienced what I have yet to with my furry Angel on Earth, who has been, for thirteen treacherous years, the most devoted and generous companion to me, my oldest daughter, and now my 2 young girls. I have lost 2 cats that I had for quite a few years, and though that was heartbreaking and I miss them dearly to this day, I know the loss I will have when Angel goes will shatter me. But I must thank you, as I've been trying to prepare myself for that day best I can, as it grows nearer, for your expression of the the blessing and great healing that can come through such sadness. I LOVE that you kept a fire on her grave for a week <3 That is one of the most touching acts of love I've heard for a pet. And what a powerful healing source that fire must have been for you. May your heart's ache mend soon, dear Ben, and I truly believe her energy will remain with you throughout your journey, as well as continue to provide comfort, peace and reassurance when needed most. Heart hugs, Madeline

  3. Suresh says:

    Unconditional love is so freeing and so rare among humans, yet dogs and other animals practice it so easily. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you Jan.

  5. Ben_Ralston says:

    The fire was very healing. I didn't know why I was doing it at the time, but it felt right.

  6. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you Suresh.

  7. Kris Lord says:

    Oh, that made my heart ache. I feel I understand that love between dog and person – my dog is my teacher, when it comes to love, patience, excitement, forgiveness, presentness…

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