The Power of the Dog – poem

heaven lake

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?

Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie–

Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,

Then you will find–it’s your own affair–
But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.
When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)

When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.

Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long–

So why in–Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Rudyard Kipling

Author: Tony

I am a father, a husband and a dog owner. Like many of you, I love my pets and they are treated as family members. On saying that, if you ask my wife, the order is dogs, daughter and then me but hey, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I write about pet ownership with a slant towards pet loss. Whilst that may sound incredibly depressing to some, I want to focus more on why our pets are so important, the effect they have on our lives and the wonderful memories they create for us. I have been a qualified hypnotherapist since 1999 hence the many references to self-hypnosis as a method of dealing with the pain of pet loss. I know this works so I hope you will give it a try. Please contribute to the success of this website by commenting, liking and sharing. I know this is a community which will spread far and wide, bringing comfort and relief to the many thousands of readers who experience the heartache of pet loss.

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