Poem for a Galgo

I noticed that yesterday somebody had been looking on my blog for a Galgo poem. Here is one, for those who know about these beautiful gentle dogs.

Paolo Uccello painted them.


You see them in old paintings

With the falcons and stylised horses,

The knaves and the nobles,

Dogs, slender, ribbed like sand at low tide.

Dogs were like that then,

Narrow muzzled, rapid and strong,

Hunters, joyful runners for the hell of it.

All of that is in your blood,

But closer, in the memory of your bones

and the scars that wrinkle your skin,

Is fear of the cruelty you see in men’s eyes.

Run, dog, my dog,

Far from the pain and the revelling in pain.

Brown eyes, soft as a doe’s,

Look into mine and hold my gaze,

Without flinching or cringing,

For there will be no blow, not from my hand.

Run, dog, through the long grass,

And return tongue-lolling, panting with joy,

Called by some light only you can see,

That shines just for you in the depths of my eyes,

Some tenderness in the way I reach out my hand.


As only a Galgo can forgive.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

8 thoughts on “Poem for a Galgo”

    1. They are what I call real dogs. I always wanted to have a dog but didn’t like the way many dogs fawn on absolute strangers, bark at other dogs and generally seem to think more about pleasing a human being than following their instincts. Galgos behave in a semi-wild way, real pack animals and usually accept only their one and only human. It makes me feel special 🙂

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