Sunday, April 13, 2008

Kipling on dogs....

A good friend recently had a scare with one of his much loved English Setters chasing a deer, as they are all wont to do, crossing a road and being hit by an auto. The driver did not stop, an unconscienable act in itself. Luckily, the dog survived, and by all accounts will be roaming the fields in search of grouse and woodcock with his beloved Master again.
But, these reports just send chills up my spine, and remind me of how tenuous the relationship between a dogman and his charge can be, and how, in an instant, a man and his dog can be seperated..
For me, these moments bring to the forefront the old adage "There, but for the grace of God, go I ".

This is the type of story that brings back thoughts of what Rudyard Kipling penned here...


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 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 the 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?

Be careful with your dogs... it's a dangerous world out there!

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