The Power Of The Dog by Rudyard Kipling

The Power of The Dog


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 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,
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-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?


A beautiful poem that asks the question;

Why do we subject ourselves to the heartbreak of losing a dog?

When a pet dies the grieving process is hard to describe, but many have been there, vowed to never go through such heartbreak again, then welcomed another into their hearts. I interpret this as, the person equates the happiness gained in his or her life from the companionship of a dog, is more powerful than the devastating grief of losing one.

We grieve because the dog was there when we wake up and when we go to sleep, there when we depart and there when we arrive. The dog has never judged you as a person, said harsh words or deliberately hurt you. He has been by your side through good times and bad, seen you at your very worst yet still gives unconditional love.

Can we say that about a family member, spouse or friend?

So that’s why we repeat the process of dog ownership over and over again.

Because they are worth it.


4 thoughts on “The Power Of The Dog by Rudyard Kipling

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  1. So true. The best way to honour that beautiful soul’s memory, in the end, is to adopt a rescued dog, and love it unconditionally. And again,risk your heart.

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