The Power of the Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and woman to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers & 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,
When it’s whisper 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.
Out 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 kept ’em, the more we do
For when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as long-
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts for a dog to tear?

-Rudyard Kipling-