Emotive Songs About Dogs…Old Shep by Elvis Presley


Emotive Songs About Dogs…Old Shep by Elvis Presley

Today I’ve been thinking about losing Alfie and back to my childhood in the 1970s. This song brought back so many memories. My grandma used to sing it to me when I was a child.

It’s particularly emotive to me at the moment because I am grieving for my boy.



Some Facts About Old Shep

The song was written in 1933 by Red Foley and Arthur Williams.

It was written about a German Shepherd called Hoover.

It has been recorded by many artists including Pat Boone, The Everly Brothers, and Johnny Cash.

Elvis Presley first sang it at the age of ten years old, in 1945. He went on to record the single in 1956.

Here is a video of the song, featuring a very handsome dog, courtesy of YouTube.

Here are the deeply emotive song lyrics to Old Shep.

I think there is something particularly heart wrenching about a fully grown, mature man just crumbling at the loss of his dog.

It just gets me every time.

“Old Shep”

When I was a lad
And old Shep was a pup
Over hills and meadows we’d stray
Just a boy and his dog
We were both full of fun
We grew up together that way

I remember the time at the old swimmin’ hole
When I would have drowned beyond doubt
But old Shep was right there
To the rescue he came
He jumped in and then pulled me out

As the years fast did roll
Old Shep he grew old
His eyes were fast growing dim
And one day the doctor looked at me and said
I can do no more for him Jim

With hands that were trembling
I picked up my gun
And aimed it at Shep’s faithful head
I just couldn’t do it
I wanted to run
I wish they would shoot me instead

He came to my side
And looked up at me
And laid his old head on my knee
I had struck the best friend that a man ever had
I cried so I scarcely could see

Old Shep he has gone
Where the good doggies go
And no more with old Shep will I roam
But if dogs have a heaven
There’s one thing I know
Old Shep has a wonderful home

(writers : Clyde J Foley, Arthur Willis)


Such lovely words and a real tearjerker for dog lovers. I think we all dread our dogs getting older and they are here for such a short time. The words of Old Shep really show how hard it is to lose a dog who has become a best friend.


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