The Power of a Dog

(Rebuttal to Kipling)

This is a verse in rebutal to Kipling's immortal "The Power of a Dog" in which he laments the pain of bereavement that is inevitable due to the shortness of canine lifespan compared to human. My answer is not to deny that pain, which alas I know all too well, but to contend that the joy of the relationship is worth the pain at the end. what follows below is the generic dog version; there is also a Bouvier specific version.




by Pam Green , © 2000


"There's sorrow enough in the natural way,"
But the antidote's to adopt a stray :
A second-hand dog from the County Pound
Is Love without limits, Joy without bound !
Brothers and Sisters, I urge you to dare
To risk your heart to a dog to tear !

Adopt a dog, and the life you save
Will be your comrade, protector brave,
Children's playmate and dearest friend,
Constant in love and swift to defend.
Sisters and Brothers, I urge you to care
And to give your home to a dog to share.

If you buy a pup from a puppy mill,
Who breeds for profit or ego's thrill,
You but give them a license to breed again
And what will become of the next eight or ten ?
Brothers and Sisters, a warning I sound :
All too many will end in the Pound !

But give your home to a dog in need;
Spay or neuter him, do not breed;
Love him and honor him, make him obey :
'Till Death do you part, he's yours all the way.
So if you've any affection to spare,
Bestow your love on a dog to share.

Br'er Kipling warned us -- he did not lie ! --
All dogs are mortal and all shall die
(As, Prince or peasant , your final lot
Is to die and be buried in earth to rot.)
And it's true enough that your heart will tear
As you lay your friend in his earthen lair.

But the only way you can live without pain
Is , for all emotion , have Vulcan disdain :
To live without sorrow , to live without bliss,
To live without knowing a loving dog's kiss.
Sisters and Brothers, I urge this belief:
The decade of joy's worth the long months of grief.

"We've sorrow enough in the natural way,"
And life gets lonelier day by day;
But adopt a dog, and the love you've spent
He'll return with interest ten thousand percent !
For a sample of Heaven (before you are there),
Just give your heart to a dog to share.


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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 1/8/03 revised 4/23/03
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