Poems

Where To Bury A Dog

There are various places within which a dog may be buried. We are thinking now of a setter, whose coat was flame in the sunshine, and who, so far as we are aware, never entertained a mean or an unworthy thought. This setter is buried beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of garden loam, and at its proper season the cherry strews petals on the green lawn of his grave.

Beneath a cherry tree, or an apple, or any flowering shrub of the garden, is an excellent place to bury a good dog. Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy summer, or gnawed at a flavorous bone, or lifted head to challenge some strange intruder.

These are good places, in life or in death. Yet it is a small matter, and it touches sentiment more than anything else.

For if the dog be well remembered, if sometimes he leaps through your dreams actual as in life, eyes kindling, questing, asking, laughing, begging, it matters not at all where that dog sleeps at long and at last.

On a hill where the wind is unrebuked and the trees are roaring, or beside a stream he knew in puppyhood, or somewhere in the flatness of a pasture land, where most exhilarating cattle graze. It is all one to the dog, and all one to you, and nothing is gained, and nothing lost -- if memory lives.

But there is one best place to bury a dog. One place that is best of all.
If you bury him in this spot, the secret of which you must already have, he will come to you when you call -- come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the well-remembered path, and to your side again. And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel they should not growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he is yours and he belongs there.

People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no whimper pitched too fine for mere audition, people who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them then, for you shall know something that is hidden from them, and which is well worth the knowing.

The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master.

by Ben Hur Lampman

I stood by your bed last night,
I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying,
You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly
As you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you,
I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

I was close to you at breakfast,
I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times,
Your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today,
Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels,
I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today,
You tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you,
That I'm not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house,
As you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you,
I smiled and said "It's me."
You looked so very tired,
And sank into a chair,
I tried so hard to let you know,
That I was standing there.

It's possible for me,
To be so near you every day.
To say to you with certainty,
"I never went away."

You sat there very quietly,
Then smiled, I think you knew…
In the stillness of that evening,
I was very close to you.

The day is over…
I smile and watch you yawning,
And say, "good-night, God Bless,
I'll see you in the morning."

An when the time is right for you,
To cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you,
And we'll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you,
There is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out…
Then come home to be with me.

Author Unknown
"She keeps repeating it over and over again. We've been back to this shelter at least five times. It has been weeks now since we started all of this," the woman told the volunteer.
"What is it she keeps asking for?" she asked.

"Puppy size!"

"We have plenty of puppies, if that's what she's looking for."
"I know. We have seen most of them," she said in frustration. Just then the young child came walking in the office.

"Well, did you find one?"

"No, not this time," she said with sadness in her voice. "Can we come back on the weekend?"

The two women looked at each other, shook their heads and laughed. "You never know when we will get more dogs. Unfortunately, there's always a supply," the volunteer said.

The young child took her mother by the hand and headed to the door. "Don't worry, I bet we'll find one this weekend," the child said.

Over the next few days both mom and dad had long conversations with her. They both felt she was being too particular.

"It's this weekend or we're not looking any more," dad finally said in frustration.

"We don't want to hear anything more about "puppy size" either," mom added.

Sure enough they were the first ones in the shelter on Saturday morning. By now, the young child knew her way around, so she ran right for the section that housed the smaller dogs.

Tired of the routine, mom sat in the small waiting room at the end of the first row of cages. There was an observation window so you could see the animals during times when visitors weren't permitted.

The young girl walked slowly from cage to cage, kneeling periodically to take a closer look. One by one the dogs were brought out and she held each one. One by one she said, "Sorry, you're not the one."

It was the last cage on this last day in search of the perfect pup. The volunteer opened the cage door and the child carefully picked up the dog and held it closely. This time she took a little longer. "Mom, that's it! I found the right puppy! He's the one! I know it!" she screamed with joy.

Mom, startled by all the commotion, came running.

"What? Are you sure? How do you know?" she asked.

"It's the puppy sighs!"

"Yes, it the same size as all the other puppies you held the last few weeks," mom said.

"No, not 'size' -- sighs. When I held him in my arms he sighed," she said.

"So?"

"Don't you remember? When I asked you one day what love is, you told me "Love depends on the sighs of your heart. The more you love, the bigger the sighs!"

The two women looked at each other for a moment. Mom didn't know whether to laugh or cry. As she stooped down to hug her child she did a little of both.

"Mom, every time you hold me I sigh. When you and Daddy come home from work and hug each other you both sigh. I knew I would find the right puppy if it sighed when I held it in my arms," she said.

Then holding the puppy up close to her face she said, "Mom, he loves me. I heard the sighs of his heart."

Close your eyes for a moment and think about the love that makes you sigh. I not only find it in the arms of my loved ones, but in the caress of a sunset, the kiss of the moonlight and the gentle brush of cool air on a hot day.

They are the sighs of God.

---Bob Perks


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