Mr. Kipling Gets It Right, Again

Hi, it’s Sarah, here, and today I think I’ll let someone else speak for me. So here goes:                         

The Power of a Dog by Rudyard Kipling

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 passsion 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?







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6 Responses to Mr. Kipling Gets It Right, Again

  1. MCWriTers says:

    Lovely, Sarah. I was raised by the world’s most perfect dog. We never wandered anywhere on the farm without her. She always put herself between us and strangers. When we sat, she was right at our feet. She was there by the door when we came home from school. She was lovely. Now I have two little fluffy white granddogs. And I’m working on a book with a guy whose dog could read his mind, she was that perceptive.

    A good reminder of how much these companions mean.

  2. Barb Ross says:

    This teared me up a bit. We lost our cocker spaniel in January. Amazing the way they get under your skin and so close to your heart.

  3. Oh, Sarah, did you lose your dog? It’s so heartrending. Yes, Mr. Kipling indeed gets it right.

  4. Sarah Graves says:

    Barbara, I’m sorry about your cocker spaniel. Close to our hearts, for sure.

    That’s Cory in the photo. 4-16-06 — 10-25-11.

    For the last seven weeks of her life, she lived like the Doggie Make-a-Wish foundation had come to town, which turns out to be a pretty good way for people to live, too.

    What a girl!

    • Barb Ross says:

      I know what you mean, Sarah In the last month of his life, MacKenzie refused to eat anything except the absolutely most expensive dog food sold.

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

  5. Yesterday our dog Hoover was at the groomer, and I came back in to write and was so struck with his absence! They are a writer’s best companion — keeping us company when things get lonely, urging us to take a walk when we don’t even know we need a break. My advice, Sarah and Barb — find another canine companion as soon as you can. Life’s too short to be without these wonderful creatures.

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