Man’s Best Friend
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 —
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-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?
Go here to Hot Air to read Jazz Shaw’s salute to his dog Max. There is an old tale that when Adam and Eve were cast from the garden all the animals named by Adam turned their backs on them, except for the dogs who trotted out by their side into the Wilderness.
I find myself opening the door slowly when I come in, peeking around to make sure it’s clear. But Max will never bump his nose on the door again.
I finish eating and I find myself checking to see what’s left on my plate because I always saved something for him. But Max will not be having any more leftovers.
I wake up in the middle of the night to listen for his collar jingling, shaking his head as his signal that he once again needs to be carried out back with me in my bathrobe. But Max won’t be in the yard any more.
I check the weather map to see if rain is coming before his evening walk, because he hates going out in the rain. But Max won’t be going for any more walks.
I’m startled seeing the back door still locked after I came home from work. How could the back door be locked? Max was in and out the back door all day to go out in the yard and do his business. And then I remember.
Getting up in the morning, I head for his bed to carry him outside. But Max’s bed is gone.
Sitting here at my computer, I look at the end of the couch. Walter the cat is there sleeping in Max’s spot.