Mary Oliver Taught Me That My Love For Dogs Is Infinite

Mary Oliver Taught Me That My Love For Dogs Is Infinite

"Dog Songs," a collection of poems written by Mary Oliver, is an incredible work that displays the beautiful connection between canine and human.


Mary Oliver, an incredible poet and a lover of dogs among other incredible titles. Unfortunately, we recently lost Mary Oliver, at the age of 83, on January 17, 2019. She was one of the most beloved and respected poets of our time and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Mary Oliver and her pup, Percy.

A friend of mine, coincidentally, lent me a collection of works by Oliver titled "Dog Songs" a few months before Oliver passed and also at a time when I was dealing with the loss of a beloved friend. This friend, of course, knew that anything to do with cuddly canines would help me to the other side. This is also the same friend who helped me adopt my dog, Bear. Bear has been my rock while I have been in school. As funny as it sounds, he keeps me accountable and boy has he taught me patience.

While at home one evening, I stumbled upon a poem titled "Little Dog's Rhapsody in the Night." I was brought to the brink of tears by this simple, but profound poem about the relationship between man, in my case, woman, and dog.

There is much to learn from Oliver and her intense love for canine companions. Appreciate them. Dogs love with no boundaries which is something we could all use in our lives.


He puts his cheek against mine

and makes small expressive sounds.

And when I'm awake, or awake enough

he turns upside down, his four paws

in the air

and his eyes dark and fervent.

"Tell me you love me," he says.

"Tell me again."

Could there be any sweeter arrangement? Over and over

he gets to ask.

I get to tell.

Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

Love with no boundaries and appreciate your canine companions. They will never leave your side and you can never let them down—unless, of course, the supply of treats is running dry.

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Cover Image Credit: My Sweet Puppy

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If You're Having A Ruff Day, The Seawolf Pups Are Here To Cheer You Up

Seawolf Pups are always here to help students at Stony Brook University.


School days aren't so rough when the Stony Brook Seawolf Pups are strutting around campus and brightening up students' days.

Cindy Crowell, 59, who lives in the neighborhood adjacent to Tabler Quad, comes to Stony Brook University's Academic Mall about five times a week to walk her three Havanese dogs, Marley, Indiana, and Lily, who she calls the Seawolf Pups. She's regularly approached by wide-eyed students who get excited to pet her dogs in between classes.

"Most of the students say they like to see them and pet them because they're stressed out and it helps them get less stressed," Crowell said. "It's a very good school and a tough school and I think that it's important for people to just be able to feel like they can say, 'Can I pet your dog?' and I say, 'Of course.'"

Many students tell Crowell that they miss their dogs and sometimes they show her pictures of their family pets.

"Who wouldn't be happier seeing a dog?" Isabelle Wolpert, a sophomore environmental humanities major who has met Crowell and the Seawolf Pups before said, "I miss mine at home a lot so seeing dogs here just makes my day better."

Another student, freshman Erika Franco, said, "I miss my dog. Dogs are so pure and just bring joy and happiness."

Each dog has a different personality, but they are all active and eager to greet people. Marley, named after Bob Marley, is not shy but reserved. Indiana, named after Indiana Jones, is outgoing and loves to run up to people. Lily, named after Lily Potter from the "Harry Potter" books, is shy but gets excited when she can run around without a leash. The dogs love earning "off-leash time" where they can roam freely on campus and not have to worry about too many cars being around.

Crowell meets many new students who are pleasantly surprised to see three dogs on their way to class and she is always glad to see familiar faces.

"I've seen them around a lot of times," Meenakshi Janardhanan, a senior mathematics major, said. "I've seen them for the last year or so and I always pet them."

When the dogs aren't going out for walks, they are either eating, napping, or watching "Game of Thrones."

Crowell grew up near the University of Vermont and, having gotten accustomed to living in a college town, knew that she wanted to settle down near a university. A couple of years after she moved to Long Island in 1987, Crowell started walking her two standard poodles and Doberman Pinscher around Stony Brook University.

Crowell is now apart of Havanese Rescue, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and finding foster and adoptive families for purebred Havanese dogs and Havanese mixes. Crowell has fostered and adopted dogs from the organization.

"We had several fosters in our house that I placed and we kept one who was named Zoey," Crowell said. "Zoey had to be given up by her family when she was 11 and a half. Knowing that they could turn her into a rescue where she would find a good home meant a lot to them."

Crowell wants people to understand where their dogs may be coming from and that between vet bills, food, and grooming, raising a dog can be expensive.

"Owning a dog is the closest thing to having a child," she said. "Dogs need a lot of socialization, exercise, good food, training, and a lot of attention."

For students who are not able to take on the responsibility of having a dog, the Seawolf Pups can serve as their daily dose of dogs on campus.

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