Daily Archives: January 16, 2013

Pet Loss: A Poem by Rudyard Kipling “The Power of a Dog”

Time spent with our pet's seems as fleeting as the life of a butterfly.

“Time spent with our pets seems as fleeting as the life of a butterfly” Quote by Yvonne Daniel

I read about Neil Gaiman and his dog in The Scoop in The Dogster. Gaiman wrote about his dog in his personal blog on Tumblr. A touching story of how he rescued his beautiful pet from the side of the highway.
http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2013/01 Niel Gaiman included Rudyard Kipling’s poem titled “The Power of a Dog. I feel this is one one of the best poems related to pet loss that I’ve read thus far.

“The Power of a Dog”

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
But 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 that nature permits
Are closing in asthma or tumors or fits
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers, or loaded guns.
Then you will find–its your own affair
But–you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will
When the whimper of welcome is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
You still 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 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?

Poem by Rudyard Kipling

Note: Some search engine terms/questions were in reference to the year that Kipling wrote this poem. I have not been able to find, via Internet, what year the poem was written.

Post and photograph Yvonne

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