The night he read his tribute about his dog named Beau, Jimmy Stewart’s poem was rare…it was uncommon at the time (1980s) to see someone show publicly that much love and emotion about a pet.
Today, bloggers and social media sites deliver to us a ton of wisdom and many sweet personal memories about dogs and cats. We’ve had opportunities to learn so much more about the unconditional love and lives of dedicated dogs. We didn’t always have that.
I remember watching Stewart turn into teary poet on live television (back when television meant something) when he spoke of his golden retriever who’d passed away.
It was a summer night when Rob was a baby and we were spending the night with my friend Debbie. Johnny Carson was on and his guest was, of course, Jimmy Stewart. Debbie and I both cried; for days, I teared up when I thought of Jimmy’s poem. At some point, I bought his book of poetry just so I could have that one poem.
No matter how many dogs I have had to tell good-bye, I still think of this night…and, when I hear Jimmy read it, it still gets to me.
If you have a curiosity about Jimmy and his dog Beau, there’s a great article on Psychology Today. Below is an excerpt:
“The truth is that it’s just really hard for me to get to sleep without a dog in my bedroom….After he died there were a lot of nights when I was certain that I could feel him get into bed beside me and I would reach out and pat his head. The feeling was so real that I wrote a poem about it and about how much it hurt to realize that he wasn’t going to there anymore.”
Click here to watch Stewart’s appearance on Johnny Carson on July 28, 1981.