The Power of the Dog by 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 to 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-term 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?


This poem from Kipling certainly does explain how we feel when we are owned by a dog and that dog becomes ill and eventually leaves us in death.

No one can explain the emotional pain. It can take years for some of us to come to terms with the passing of our dear dog companions.

Loving a dog always opens your heart to heartache and deep emotional hurt, but even so, I would not want to live without dogs in my life. How much hurt can your heart stand?

Loving and sharing your life with a dog is one of the greatest experiences on Earth.

Don’t deprive yourself of this great experience!