Friday, October 15, 2010

Kipling Knew Dogs

Mike, who never liked the camera

I am sure most doggy folks have read and felt this poem, but when my good friend Jeffro put it up in the comments, lets just say it was the right thing at the right time. I had read bits and pieces of it before, but didn't realize that Rudyard Kipling had written it.

The Power Of The Dog

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 for 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--'ve given your heart for 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 for the 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-time 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

I have been a fan of Kipling since I was a kid sitting alone in the parents' bookstore reading my way through the merchandise to stave off the summer doldrums. His characters, animal and human, were far more earthy and real than Disney's version, especially horses and dogs. My favorite Kipling piece is the Maltese Cat
Thanks Jeff


Dani said...

So beautiful. I wonder if there will ever come a Thursday that I don't count another week without my Ollie baby??

threecollie said...

Dani, the girls and I felt like we knew Ollie and we felt so very bad for you when he passed away. He seemed like such a wonderful guy. I am really glad that you have Maggie and Jiggs.

Floridacracker said...


Jeffro said...

I'm glad it helped, Marianne. I hate that a poem like that resonates because of the pain we've all experienced, but such is life and death I suppose....

Linda said...

This is really a great tribute!

Dani said...

Mike and Gael were so lucky to have such a great human family. :)

lisa said...

A very lovely tribute to two wonderful friends!

Cathy said...

I never before encountered this poem, and honestly - it holds so much more`real world truth than The Rainbow Bridge which, of course, always makes me cry and I now refuse to read because I want to be done with that pain.

threecollie said...

FC, yeah, here too. I know you know how this is if anybody does

Jeffro, still, you have to go through it if you want to have them and love them and sometimes it helps to have words...thanks again

Linda, I liked it so much that I couldn't just leave it in the comments. Thanks

Dani,we were so privileged to have them. I am glad we still have Nick, who is a nice guy too, although since I couldn't ever really work him there is a bit less closeness than with the dogs I worked with

Lisa, I was so glad Jeffro shared it

Cathy, I don't read RBB any more either, mostly because it doesn't quite fit the relationship we have with our working dogs. They are partners more than pets...still if there is a hereafter, I pray that they are there waiting.

DayPhoto said... beautiful so well said. It's just so hard to lose our very best furry friends.


Ericka said...

beautiful. thanks for sharing!

threecollie said...

Linda, it was the right thing at the right time for me

Ericka, thank you for reading