“I will lend to you for a while, a pup, God said,
For you to love him while he lives
and mourn for him when he’s dead.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years, or maybe two or three,
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me.
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you
and should his stay be brief you’ll always have
his memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below, I want this pup to learn.
I’ve looked the whole world over in search of teachers true,
And from the folk that crowd’s life’s land
I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love
Nor think the labour vain,
Nor hate me when I come to take my pup back again.
I fancied that I heard them say Dear Lord Thy Will be Done,
For all the joys this pup will bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter him with tenderness we’ll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay.
But should you call him back much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes,
and try to understand.
If, by our love, we’ve managed,
your wishes to achieve,
In memory of him we loved, to help us while we grieve.
When our faithful bundle departs this world of strife,
We’ll have yet another pup and love him all his life.”
IF IT SHOULD BE
If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
then you must do what must be done
For this, the last battle, can’t be won.
You will be sad, I understand,
Don’t let the grief then stay your hand,
For this day more than all the rest
Your love and friendship stand the test.
We’ve had so many happy years,
What is to come can hold no fears.
You’d not want me to suffer so;
When the time comes, please let me go.
Take me where my needs they’ll tend
And stay with me, if you can, to the end.
Hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time, you will see,
It is a kindness you do for me.
Although my tail its last was waved,
From pain and suffering I’ve been saved.
Don’t grieve that it should be you,
Who must decide this thing to do,
We’ve been so close, we two, these years;
Don’t let your heart hold on to tears.
You're giving me a special gift,
So sorrowfully endowed,
And through these last few cherished days,
Your courage makes me proud.
But really, love is knowing
When your best friend is in pain,
And understanding earthly acts
Will only be in vain.
So looking deep into your eyes,
Beyond, into your soul,
I see in you the magic, that will
Once more make me whole.
The strength that you possess,
Is why I look to you today,
To do this thing that must be done,
For it's the only way.
That strength is why I've followed you,
And chose you as my friend,
And why I've loved you all these years...
My partner 'til the end.
Please, understand just what this gift,
You're giving, means to me,
It gives me back the strength I've lost,
And all my dignity.
You take a stand on my behalf,
For that is what friends do.
And know that what you do is right,
For I believe it too.
So one last time, I breathe your scent,
And through your hand I feel,
The courage that's within you,
To now grant me this appeal.
Cut the leash that holds me here,
Dear friend, and let me run,
Once more a strong and steady dog,
My pain and struggle done.
And don't despair my passing,
For I won't be far away,
Forever here, within your heart,
And memory I'll stay.
I'll be there watching over you,
Your ever faithful friend,
And in your memories I'll run,
...a young dog once again.