Sunday, 13 May 2007

The Power Of The Dog

Last Monday (7th) was exactly one year to the day that we lost Meg, our Border Collie-Spaniel cross. She was a great wee "hill dug" and we had some tremendous days out together. I still miss her and think about her every day. If you're not a dog person then you'll never understand the bond that exists between man and dog. Mans' best friend, indeed.

In fact, I can remember the exact date and time Meg died but couldn't tell you when my favourite Aunt passed away. I guess that makes me a dog person, right enough.

About 6 months before she died, Meg was operated on for Mammarian Cancer and I'd posted something about it on a thread on OM. The response was swift; messages of support from the dog owners and from folk who'd never owned a dog in their life. I posted a follow-up a couple of days after Meg's passing and again the response was heartfelt. They're good folk. Among the posts was one from Mal, an OM regular. He posted a poem by Rudyard Kipling and it said everything that needed to be said;

Rudyard Kipling

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?

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