Epitaph to a Dog

Lilah (Golden Retriever, 2010-2022)

We released Lilah today, sending her along the path ahead of us. “You can run to the end and wait for us there!” The path feels empty without our companion, her coat shining white and golden and tail wagging to share joy and unconditional love.

The epitaph on the tomb of Lord Byron’s dog, Boatswain, captures a tribute I wish I had written of her.

‘Near this Spot are deposited the Remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the virtues of Man without his Vices. This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human Ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog who was born in Newfoundland May 1803 and died at Newstead November 18th 1808.’

By Roger Gosden

British-born scientist specializing in reproduction & embryology. Career as professor & research director spanned from Cambridge to Cornell's Weill Medical College in NYC. Married to Lucinda Veeck Gosden, embryologist for the first successful IVF team in America. Retired early to Williamsburg, Virginia, to write and recover from 'nature deficit disorder'. Currently a visiting scholar at William & Mary. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Gosden


  1. So sad to hear your lovely Lilah has gone – they always leave such an empty space behind, don’t they?

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