Monday, February 24, 2014

Kipling, on dogs... for Brigid.

Today my friend, Brigid, lost her 4-legged friend, Barkley to an aggressive bone cancer.  11 months ago, I was in the same situation, losing my dog Charlie.  I know how raw that wound is...still is....

For Barkley.  For Brigid.  For Partner in Grime.


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?


  1. Please share..."...grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but speak and laugh of me often...'twas Heaven here with you...I loved you so..."... my sincerest condolences..:)JP

  2. I couldn't get all the way through the poem. That wound is still too raw. I'll be glad when I quit missing my Maxie so much. Right now the memories can still hurt. BUT, that said, deepest sympathies to Brigid (and for you too Monkeywrangler). I sure understand the emotions of losing our furbabies. Prayers for Jesus to bring you comfort. God bless. xx

  3. beautiful - and true -
    my heart - shredded to bits
    and worth it many times over.

    thank you,


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