Friday, 22 June 2018

For Joe And Kerry

who lost a dear friend on Tuesday

The Power of the Dog by 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?


  1. Beautiful *sniff*. I've found having fur friends, especially dogs and cats, is worth every tear in my heart. They are all memorialized there, every single one.

  2. My heart goes out to Joe and Kerry.

  3. Like other things, and considering that I only have one life (more is the pity), that of which you and many of your readers speak I will never experience. I say it without regret, more in wonderment.

    I have known some amazing dogs over my lifetime. Not least the I grew up with, briefly, a black Alsatian - the most wonderful dog ever. Yet, the love of which you speak ... eludes me. I loved my cats - but I wouldn't describe it like anything you (and others) describe your relationship with dogs. And, oddly, and please don't take offence - it's not meant like any, just the truth - I wouldn't want a relationship like that.

    On the other hand, all of those who do, I am very happy for you. Makes, often, for moving reading.


  4. So why in – Heaven (before we are there)
    Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

    For 'tis far better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all.

    Tennyson vs Kipling

  5. Losing their furry friend will leave a hole in the grieving hearts of Joe and Kerry. May caring people like you,John,be a comfort to them now and new love soon fill their hearts again.-Mary

  6. "If you evade suffering, you also evade the chance of joy." -- U.K. Le Guin Why I choose to give my heart to my dogs.

  7. I sought out this poem when my wonderful Zac died and read it over and over till I was empty of tears. But that was only one day; the next day the tears and heartache (a real physical pain inside) were back. And even though it will be 2 years in August since I lost my best mate, companion and beloved friend, any reminder still brings me to tears. As now.
    - Rosemary

  8. What a wonderful poem. Pets are a wonderful thing to share a life with. I miss my cats something awful and our old lady dog, who will be 15, seems to be showing signs of ill health. Yes our heart breaks when they go, but I do not regret knowing a single one of them. Hugs to Joe and Kerry.

  9. I once loved that dog. Never had another. Light and love to Joe and Kerry.

  10. Sad for Joe and Kerry.

  11. I have never had a dog. I have witnessed the pain felt of people when their dogs are gone and I couldn't bear that amount of grief.

  12. Always sad to lose a beloved pet. They are important parts of our lives.

  13. my condolences to joe & Kerry.

  14. The sadness felt when I have lost a dog is the equivilant to loosing a human, and sometimes more.
    Sending love to Joe and Kerry x

  15. The most awful pain ensues at the loss of a beloved dog but the pain is outweighed by the fact that you gave them and loved and happy life. I'm sure Joe and Kerry will feel this way in time.

  16. The worst pain I ever had was losing my childhood dog, a big, beautiful Irish Setter. I remember my dad telling me that Kerry was electrocuted on the railroad tracks when he chased a squirrel. My dad had taken him for a walk and let him off the leash. It took my sisters and I a long time to forgive Dad.

  17. Such sadness and tears when we lose a special friend like this. I send my sympathies and healing thoughts. How kind of you to do this for your friend.

  18. Dogs are sentient beings like we are.
    My heart goes out to your friends, John.

  19. I am so sorry for them.

  20. aww so sorry, the photo looks exactly like my Casey!

  21. Losing a dog is the worst pain of all!

  22. So sorry to read this.

  23. Someone sent me that poem when I farewelled my Taff a few years ago. It says it all

  24. Joe and Kerry must be feeling heartbroken -My darling Scruffy was put to sleep on the 27 the May and I am only just existing at the moment x

  25. It's hard to lose any being whom we have loved - person, dog, cat, it doesn't matter. It is the price we pay for the joy and love they bring into our lives. My sympathy to Joe and Kerry.

  26. There is nothing like the bond between a dog and its human companion. I almost said "owner" instead of human companion. But in reality we don't own them. They are part of the family.

  27. Oh dear John, you've got me going. I had to go and give Bok a good stroking.

  28. Every dog you ever have loved stays in your heart.. I feel for what your friends Joe and Kerry are going through that loss, acceptance and adjustment is the worst. Hugs to all the furrys xx

  29. Each time you lose of a much loved pet, it never gets any easier. I miss every one of the five dogs I've had over the past thirty five years, and still shed tears for them.
    Sending hugs and sympathy to Joe and Kerry.

  30. I can empathize with the pain of losing a pet dog and would we didn’t have to experience such a loss.

  31. So very sorry to hear of this devastating loss :( I always send those who lose a beloved pet this poem:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow; I am the diamonds glint on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain; I am the gentle autumn's rain.
    When you awaken in the morning's hush, I am the sweet uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight I am the first star that shines at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there. I did not die.
    -Mary Elizabeth Frye

    So much laughter, so many tears. Godspeed, dear pup...

  32. In the past few years since we came back from Argentina, my husband died, and then my mom died .
    I could not bear it if one of my cats died.
    Sometimes you have to think you can only take so much grief..

  33. I send my sympathy. Lost my pup who was only 2 on 16 May, a little over 2 years since I lost two of my then three dogs in quick succession, followed by my Mum a few weeks later. The deluge of loss in such a short time nearly broke me but getting a new pup helped me through some very dark days. To lose that pup, so young this time, means I am just hanging on by a thread. The comments above help to know that others understand the pain.

    1. Strength to you Wendy, your going through a great deal..feel for you.
      Sorry for your losses and your most recent loss of a dog so young. Perhaps getting a dog that desperately needs a home would help. Older dogs are a challenge as u dont have them for as many years but they are just as deserving and you have given them a safe place to grow old and they love you all the more for it. Hugs, Elle

    2. thank you very much Elle x your kindness is appreciated x

  34. There is no sorrow like the death of one's dog.
    I suppose only in poetry can one capture the words.

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