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Border Collie Rescue - On Line - Poetic Tributes to Dogs

Poetic Tributes to dogs

Poems by a wide range of people about a wide range of dogs

It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them and every new dog that comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart.
If I live long enough, all of the components of my heart will be dog and I will become as generous and loving as they are.

For those that prefer to turn a page rather than scroll, the left menu will open flip books, one poems and two short stories.

Poetry Corner - A dedication to dogs.


A Tribute To Sam - Sue Rowan
Because of Border Collies - Ronnie Goodyer
The Collies Dilemma - Mike Cooke
The Gatekeeper - Mike Cooke
Burnam Beeches - Richard Verschoyle
Monument To A Dog - Lord Byron
Angled Briefly - Mike Cooke
Just A Dog - Patricia Baker
Time - Mike Cooke
Dog Dog Sarum - Rev. William Smith
The Authors Address To His Old Dag Hector - James Hogg
The Runaway - Mike Cooke
The Collies Lament - Viv Billingham-Parkes
The Best Place To Bury A Dog - Ben Hur Lampman
The Power of the Dog - Rudyard Kipling
The Wally Dug - Unknown Author


A tribute to Sam by Sue Rowan

Epitaphs of sheepdogs mourn the loss of courage, beauty, brains,
And loyalty without match. They bring the toughest heart to tears.
This one's different, even now the means exist for me to clone
My irreplaceable Sam.

Among the beads and trinkets in my jewel box,
Carefully wrapped, lies a lock of black and white fur,
The brightest gem, source of DNA, from the dog
That changed my life.

So weep no more, be happy, laugh, rejoice, for I shall get my dog back.
The pastures that we gathered on all those heat-crazed shearing days
Will feel again those willing paws
Climb the unyielding hill.

Lay aside the scrapbook, gaudy pages of bright memory
An entry form, a running order, trial results, the photos -
"Sam in snow", "Sam with lambs", "Sam in the river after work".
He'll be here again.

Take down the tent from its attic pitch, we'll trial once more
In the sun swept hills of Wales.
From Bala to Llanafan from Moelyniadd to the sea.
Together we'll go home.

I'll never have to say goodbye, to touch for one last time
The beloved fur. But wait, it cannot be. He will not be the same.
For who can clone those golden, glory days that made him
And that Sam gave to me?


Because of Border Collies by Ronnie Goodyer

 Because of border collies
I have had friends in the darkest hours
companions who became outdoor shadows
and learned the meaning of unconditional love

Because of border collies
I have been taught how to approach the day
how to see places and objects with refreshingly new eyes
and to appreciate the possibilities of the mundane

Because of border collies
I have been denied access to pubs
had to apologise to picnickers for missing sandwiches
and to Sunday walkers for water-sprayed clothes

Because of border collies
I have possessed hard-working vacuum cleaners
had black hair hiding in carpets and clothes
and mini-collie clumps under sofas and beds

Because of border collies
I have had the pain of ending life
watch ageing take over willing but incapable bodies
and cried so long and so hard in emptiness

Because of border collies
I have had a life that is full and beautiful
that has made me a person who knows how to love
and to be loved in an uncomplicated world

Copyright - Ronnie Goodyer,  Indigo Dreams Publishing Ltd.


The Collies Dilemma by Mike Cooke

The Collie is a loyal Breed
His greatest mission is to serve.
He seeks to understand our need,
to give us what we must deserve.
So when we ask the worst of him
to go against his natural need.
He tries to satisfy our whim.
Our vanity he seeks to feed.

In all mankind's most selfish dreams
when seeking slaves to honour us.
For some the Collie is the means,
but are the reasons good enough?
Why should we wish this noble breed
to change it's ways and give to man,
a means to satisfy our needs
in all the ways we think he can?

Why is it not enough to gaze
upon the Collie in the field,
to let his trade and skills amaze
and to temptation never yield?
We make demands, we ask of him
to sacrifice his purpose true,
to let us get the best of him.
He'll always try, but think - would you?

 Copyright - Mike Cooke


The Gatekeeper (The reminiscences of a rescued dog) by Mike Cooke

I bid you hear me speak and stay awhile.
My name is Meg and Gatekeeper am I.
My purpose is to guard the portals well
that let into this world of which I’ll tell,
where passions lie unfolding at your feet
and stories of each character you’ll meet,
shall be revealed; and, when some time has flown,
in you an understanding, planted, grown;
may help you to avoid a fall from grace
of your Best Friend outside the human race.

A droving dog I was in earlier life
and travailed countryside on these four paws,
that carry me, even until this day,
my duties to perform in my own cause.
But age and weary work on wild fells
took toll of willing feet on which I ran
until my duties, thus impaired, were but
to guard a broken gate without my man,
thus make alone a barrier of flesh,
preventing sheep from breaching others land.

When new misfortune added to my strife,
and time, the never ending bane of life,
had slowed me in those duties to perform
a post in rescue gave me hope newborn.
My work here helps my fellows so distressed,
who come in, disillusioned, for some rest,
from life's demanding rigours, so imposed;
by owners who would keep them "on their toes",
and others who, through no fault of their own
on hapless times and fate their life is thrown.

I guard these gates and yes, I keep them well;
through which must pass all those who seek retreat
within this place of caring I have found
(where I get wondrous ointments for my feet).
I know the secrets, all, of each who pass,
the sanities and wanderings of their minds,
as each one reaches out, to seek and grasp
a future that is comforting and kind,
and overcoming problems of their past,
they cast out little devils they may find.

Here joyfully I bear my happy load
assigned to me by those who life has showed
that collie dogs are born and bred to work
and never from a given task would shirk,
but live to love, and love to live to please
and simply from ‘good dog’ will find much ease.
Thus knowing collie rescue is much more
than finding an accommodating floor,
their secret, to put troubled minds at rest,
is finding dogs the jobs that they do best.

But all here carry deep within their pate
illusions as to why their life has cast
them into such a solitary state
of isolation from their human past,
and looking on I clearly see that fate
has led to these illusions sticking fast.
So, working with my rescue human kin
who gently ease the devils from their souls
I guard the gate that blocks their way back in
and thus I work to aid this canine cause.

Such devils are too easy to ingrain
through boredom, loneliness, neglect or pain,
starvation, thirst, discomfort, cold and fear
each heavy loads for any dog to bear.
So through my trust and in my faith I show
that in them past expressions, lost, can grow
again, to take the place of fears installed
by thoughtless humans who should be appalled
at how their poor attention to their Friend
has brought to them, much sadness, in the end.

Our ranks, forever swelling in due course,
as others join the growing brothers band,
of canines seeking solace in the source
of dogginess and not the source of man.
For mankinds font of happiness, in main,
involves the grant of prestige from their peers
by working at a task designed to gain
attention to their prowess over years,
and willing paws, who care not for the pain
caused by masters wish for trophys gain.

Each of us has, inside, a shaped desire
which character and nature both require
the recognition of our human kin
to bring out our abilities within.
By doing so and shaping their own lives
to meet our needs, our instincts and our drives,
our masters may avoid their falling from
the pedestal we dogs would place them on,
and opened eyes will see our nature bides
beneath the layers under which it hides.

And then you'll see our character exposed;
one face for humans. t'other for our kin;
the one to seek assurances of those,
who's hands and mercy we have fallen in;
the other when invoked, will change our clothes
to suit our needs and cover up that sin.
So look close at your loyal canine friend
and act to shape a future for you both.
A future sharing life towards an end
of greater understanding and new hope.

Then when you think your canine friend does err,
you will accept that you have played your share
in shaping the behaviour you name,
and doing so will humbly share the blame.
For gatekeeping's a task we all must take
to form the barriers that we must make
to keep unwanted demons from without
from causing so much misery and doubt
that dogs, once loved and treasured will be cursed
to end up on the streets or suffer worse.

So some of us are lucky to have found
a place in rescue care that helps us flee
the little devils formed in our dark past
from which we have endevoured to be free.
But more than just locating the first place
that offers room and tenders up a coin,
the best of rescues always make the space,
the effort, care, the thoughfullness and time
to help us dogs find dignity and grace,
to look ahead and shut the gate behind.

Copyright - Mike Cooke


Burnham Beeches by Richard Verschoyle

We walked at Burnham through the passing years,
Beneath the gothic arches of the trees,
And knew each knotted root, each jagged stump,
The bones of ancient beeches, green with moss,
Concealing crawly things in crevices.
Ant's nest and broken branch were waymarks on
The quiet familiar paths, where once we found
Familiarity can breed content.
Where now I walk, with you beside me still,
But in the mind's eye only; in a dream
Where you are always playing hide and seek,
Or lurking in an ambush up ahead
To pounce on me, your unsuspecting prey.
And now, because I cannot let you go,
These woods will be your happy haunting ground,
A hoodlum spirit, harum-scarum ghost,
Scattering the indignant squirrels, snorkeling
In moldy leaves, and smelly ponds or worse -
"Banned Substances", celestially foul.

My friend, before they sing you to your rest,
Those flights of angels would be well advised
To get some paper spread around the place
When muddy feet ascend the Heavenly Stairs,
And you come woofing at the Pearly Gates.
But if there is a notice on the door
Then who would want to live there anyway,
In all that spotless sanctimonious bliss?
You're always welcome in the Other Place
To sit with Cerberus beside the fire.
And I might join you there before too long
And say goodbye to all this emptiness.

The emptiness behind me in the car,
And all around me when I come back home.
The bed, the hearth, the heart are empty now
The memories remain, the photographs,
Your portrait looking at me from the wall
The red rosette for "Dog with waggiest tail",
Your treasure chest, with all your precious hoard;
Red Ball, Green Socks, and ugly Yellow Rat
Who lay abandoned in a litter bin
Unloved, until you came to rescue him.
Assorted bones, your tatty woolly hat;
Best trophy of them all, the greasy glove
You stole from ATS at Beaconsfield.
These rare and much sought after artifacts
From the collection of a Gentleman.
And what am I supposed to do with them,
"These foolish things" reminding me of you?

For life goes on, and somewhere, even now
A small, black, hairy blob, stuffed full of Sin
Is waiting to be born, to wag his tail,
Insinuate his nose into my heart,
And pester me to come to life again.
And when he comes to Burnham, will he feel
A kindly presence watching in the trees,
To wish him well, then melt into the mist
As veils of sunlight sift through autumn leaves?


Monument to a Dog by Lord Byron

When some proud son of man returns to earth,
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below.
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.

But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labors, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Un-honored falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.

Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!

By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye, who perchance behold this simple urn,
Pass on, it honors none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend's remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one, and here he lies.

Inscription on the monument of his Newfoundland dog, 1808


Angled Briefly by Mike Cooke

Angled briefly, like an arrow arcing through the sky
with the sun glinting on a barbed tip, aiming at the heart,
her life passed quickly through her mind.
She witnessed it.

Twisting like smoke in a vortex,
memories intermingled with reality.
She saw what she wanted to see
Forgot what she didn't.

There was a place. There was a form.
Similar in shape to the one she now felt close by her.
The feeling of familiarity jolted against the reality of the past.
Comfort took precedence.

Deep in her soul she knew the difference.
Sensed the difference, only felt the similarity.
The gentle hand placed upon her head told her
the difference was real.

It had been a strange, unreal, transition
from a cold shed to a warm house,
from an empty water bowl to a full one,
and as much food as she felt she ever needed.

It had been a new experience, feeling a warm touch,
hearing a warm voice, having other company
than that of sound with no connection outside of
her cold universe of four walls, floor and ceiling.

It had been a flush and tremor of excitement
filled with trepidation and touched with insecurity
as her the world around her changed
and swept her away on a river of discovery.

New smells, new sounds, new feelings
invigorated her senses in waves of sudden realisation
and took her off to places never seen
through the eyes of a blind Border Collie.

Angled briefly, like an arrow arcing through the sky
with the sun glinting on a barbed tip, aiming at the heart.
Her new life stretched before her.
She liked it.

Copyright - Mike Cooke


Just a dog by Patricia Baker

"She's just a dog" the lady said
But she's with me every day.
"Just a dog" who cares for me
In my sadness and my joy

"Just a dog", her love for me
Is constant, steady, ever there
"Just a dog" who shares my days
And the long and lonely nights

"Just a dog" in whose's deep eyes
I see her love and care
"Just a dog" who shares my quiet life
So willingly and fully

Just a dog called Jilly

Patricia Baker. March 2020


Time By Mike Cooke (Could be a song? Try out your rapping!)

They said when they got me that they needed a friend.
A loyal companion on who they could depend
to be vigilant at night and alert in the day and to look out for the kids when they both went away,
to follow their careers and bring home the bacon but they never gave a thought to the way I was aching, for some company and friendship in return for my trust.
They couldn't understand why I couldn't adjust.

A life home alone all day, a small back yard.
For them it was easy but for me life was hard,
without interaction, it ought to be a crime.
They shouldn't have got me if they didn't have the time.
A two way relationship is what I really need.
Someone to look up to, someone who will lead.
They go through the motions but it's only a mime.
They shouldn't have got me if they didn't have the time.

All good intentions fall into dust when tensions in the family eventually bust
and patience runs out with each passing day.
Instead of being welcome I'm getting in the way.
Out to the yard boy, your always underfoot. Get in your bed boy, I've no time to put
into walking or running or playing a game.
It's like living Groundhog Day, everyone's the same.

A life home alone all day, a small back yard.
For them it was easy but for me life was hard,
without interaction, it ought to be a crime.
They shouldn't have got me if they didn't have the time.
A two way relationship is what I really need.
Someone to look up to, someone who will lead.
I'd tell you my emotions but I couldn't make them ryme.
I wish they hadn't got me cos' they never have the time.

I often hear people saying 'life's too short',
well mine's even shorter so give me a thought
when you plan out your day, include a bit of mine,
and if you're too busy to find me the time
while thinking of yourself, what are you doing there?
You've got yourself a dog but I don't think you care,
All you seem to want to do is grab what you can get,
a house, car, wife, two kids - now what about a pet?

A life home alone all day, a small back yard.
For them it was easy but for me life was hard,
without interaction, it ought to be a crime.
They shouldn't have got me if they didn't have the time.
A two way relationship is what I really need.
Someone to look up to, someone who will lead.
They haven't got a notion that we're running out of time
If they can't get it right it's the end of the line

Copyright - Mike Cooke


Dog Dog Sarum * by Rev. William Smith

Of course dogs laugh! But they laugh at you. Yes sir,
from high thorough-bred to the common cur,
they sit up, beg, and jump to humour you;
but secretly, fervently, they despise you.

But Sarum, from the first, like a loving child
looked at me with her big brown eyes and smiled,
and that smile would have melt a heart of stone.
Willingly I would have had her for my own.

We walked over the Downs on a Summer’s day,
she weaving to and fro across my way
traversed three times the distance that I did,
when she came to the path at the top she hid.

She broke through the brambles by one of the gaps.
I could hear her whines and excited yaps.
This was the best of her canine habits –
chasing the smell of invisible rabbits.

So home, a long drink, and to sleep at my feet
with ears and paws twitching, and quick heartbeat,
with whines and barks, dreaming her best habits –
chasing the smell of visionary rabbits.

Now she roams th’eternal hills, the brambles there
have soft and harmless spines which never tear,
meditating, chasing (holy habits)
the angelic smells of heavenly rabbits.

* so called because she was found abandoned on Salisbury Plain.


The authors address to his old dag Hector by James Hogg (The Ettrick Shepherd)

Come, my auld, towzy, trusty friend,
What gars ye look sae dung wi' wae?
D'ye think my favours at an end,
Because thy head is turning grey?

Although thy strength begins to fail,
Its best was spent in serving me;
An' can I grudge thee wee bit meal,
Some comfort in thy age to gie?

For many a day, frae sun to sun,
We've toiled fu' hard wi' ane anither;
An' mony a thousand mile thou'st run,
To keep my thraward flocks thegither.

To nae thrawn boy nor naughty wife
Shall thy auld bones become a drudge;
At cats n' callans a' thy life
Thou ever bor'st a mortal grudge;

An' whiles thy surly look declared,
Thou lo'ed the women warst of a';
Because my love wi' thee they shared,
A matter out o' right or law.

When sittin' wi' my bonnie Meg,
mair happy than a prince could be,
Thou placed thee by her other leg,
An' watched her wi' a jealous e'e.

An' then, at ony start or flare,
Thou wad'st hae worried furiouslye;
While I was forced to curse an' swaer,
Afore thou wad'st forbidden be.

Yet wad she clasp thy towzy paw;
Thy gruesome grips were never skaithly;
An' thou than her hast been mair true,
An' truer than the freind that gae thee.

Ah me! o' fashion, self an' pride,
Mankind hae read me sic a lecture;
But yet it's a' in part repaid
By thee my faithful, grateful Hector!

O'er past imprudence, oft alane
I've shed the saut an' silent tear;
Then sharin' a' my gried an' pain,
My poor auld friend came snoovin' near.
For a' the days we've sojourned here,
An' they've been neither fine nor few,
While I thy looks as weel could read,
As thou had'st said in words to me:

"O my dear master, dinna greet;
What hae I ever done to vex thee?
See here I'm cowrin' at your feet;
Just take my life, if I perplex thee.

"For a' my toil, my wee drap meat
Is a' the wage I ask of thee;
For whilk I'm oft obliged to wait
Wi' hungry wame an' patient e'e.

"Whatever wayward course ye steer;
Whatever sad mischance o'ertake ye;
Man, here is ane will hald ye dear!
Man, here is ane will ne'er forsake ye!"

Yes, my puir beast, through freinds me scorn,
Whom mair than life I valued dear,
And thraw me out to fight forlorn,
Wi' ills my heart do hardly bear;

While I hae thee to bear a part-
My health, my plaid, an' hazel rung-
I'll scorn the unfeeling, haughty heart,
The saucy look, and slanderous tongue.

Some friends, by pop'lar envy swayed,
Are ten times waur than ony fae;
My heart was theirs an' to them laid
As open as the light o' day.

I feared my ain, but had nae dread,
That I for loss o' theirs should mourn;
Or that when luck an' favour fled,
Their freindship wad injurious turn.

But He who feeds the ravens young
Lets naething pass He disna see;
He'll sometime judge o' right an' wrang,
An' aye provide for you an' me.

An' hear me, Hector, thee I'll trust,
As far as thous hast wit an' skill;
Sae will I ae sweet lovely breast,
To me a balm for every ill.

To these my trust shall ever turn,
While I have reason truth to scan;
But ne'er beyond my mother's son,
To aught that bears the shape o' man.

I ne'er could thole thy cravin' face,
Nor when ye pattit on my knee;
though in a far an' unco place
I've whiles been forced to beg for thee.

Even now I'm in my master's power,
Where my regard may scarce be shown;
But ere I'm forced to gie thee o'er,
When thou art auld and senseless grown,

I'll get a cottage o' my ain,
Some wee bit cannie, lonely biel,
Where thy auld heart shall rest fu' fain,
An' share wi' me my humble meal.

Thy post shall be to guard the door
Wi' gousty bark, whate'er betides;
Of cats an' hens to clear the floor,
An' bite the flaes that vex thy sides.

When my last bannock's on the hearth
Of that thou sanna want thy share;
While I hae house or hauld on earth,
My Hector shall hae shelter there.

An' should grim death thy noddle save
Till he has made an end o' me,
Ye'll lie a wee while on the grave
O' ane wha aye was kind to thee.

There's none alive will miss thee mair;
An' though in words thous canst not wail,
On a' the claes thy master ware,
I ken thou'lt smell and wag thy tail.

If e'er I'm forced wi' thee to part,
Which will be sair against my will,
I'll sometimes mind thy honest heart,
As lang as I can climb a hill.

Come, my auld towzy, trusty freind,
Let's speel to Queensb'ry's lofty height;
An wardly cares we'll leave behind,
An onward look to days more bright.

While gazing o'er the Lawland dales,
Despondence on the breeze shall flee,
An' muses leave their native vales
To scale the clouds wi' you an' me.

James Hogg - (The Ettick Shepherd).
From his first book - The Mountain Bard


The Runaway by Mike Cooke

Why he did it no-one knew. Not even himself. To him it just happens
One minute he would be sniffing around in the garden, the next he would be gone, leaving a long silence, resulting in long searches, much shouting out of his name, unending frustration for all involved and occasional police assistance.

Then, suddenly, after variable lengths of time, he was back, hungry, tired hopeful and inevitably very mucky, sitting on the doorstep and scratching to get in.
There followed a period of reconciliation and soul searching – but not on his part. He saw no fault and felt no wrong.
To him it just happens.

The lure of an attractive summer day when scents blow hither on balmy breezes to stimulate jaded appetites and unused muscles?
The lure of frozen footprints in the snow, leading along unknown paths to hidden places yet undiscovered, unimagined, stimulating the juvenile mind?
The lure of sound, creating images of adventures to be realised and experienced and conjuring both fear and curiosity in equal measure?
The lure of movement, clearly seen, or merely perceived as fragile fractions of light, suggesting mysterious temptations just beyond the limit of the eye?
The lure of company of kind, of peers, of like thinkers in a world of alien concepts, rigid frameworks and confusing unexplained inconsistencies?
The lure of feminine beauty, an unfamiliar stirring in the groin, the promise of pheromones, a need, not understood, but insistent?
The lure of habit, the familiarity of repetition, the reassurance of ritual?


Conjecture – we all suffer from it – but not him, he never thinks about it, although he knows no more than we do as to why it happens.

Speculation – we all indulge in it – but not him, although his imagination is as good as any soul, he cannot imagine why it happens.

Realisation – we all bow to it – but not him, although he realises the world exists around him, in his world he does not realise why it happens.

Recognition – sometimes it comes - but not when it happens. He finds his way home, after it happens.

Calculation - No, not deliberate, no forethought, no premeditation - but nevertheless it happens

Understanding - No-one understands it. They try but it eludes them. It just happens.

Conclusion - To him it just happens.

Perhaps he’s just bored left out in the garden alone all day while everyone gets on with their lives and neglects his.

The most puzzling thing about it is that in spite of all security and every obstacle placed in his way, although he could easily break out of the garden, he could never seem to break back in.

Copyright - Mike Cooke


The Collies Lament by Viv Billingham-Parkes

 I am a well- bred collie dug, Born tae herd yon’ hill;
Tae rin tae heid jeukin’ yowes,
Yet ne’er do them ill.

Alas, the worst tae me’s occurred,
Ah’ve been sell’t intae a toun,
And ‘cos I chase baith weans and cars,
They’re gaun tae pit me doon.

If I could talk I’d tell them,
I wasna’ born tae be a pet -
But they dinna appear tae care nor ken,
Jist drag me tae the vet.

I don’t know what he did tae me,
‘Cept t’was a mortal sin,
That made me proud tae be canine,
Not human likes o’ him.

How I wished that he’d explain,
An’ mak’ them understaun’,
That a collie dug born an’ bred,
Belongs only on the land.

But alas, he only sighed;
And shook his woolly heid,
Carried out the heinous deed,
And then pronounced me deid!

I feel mysel’ ascendin’
Towards some pearly gates -
I’ve been telt a Shepherd dwells up there
Who waits for collies sic- like me.

I tak’ ma place beside his knee,
Feel his kind hand on ma heid,
"Forget the past, put it behind,
Come bide with me instead.

There’s sheep to guide and sheep to shed,
The work here never ends.
"He led me tae a dry-stane dyke,
"These are the ones ye’ll tend."

I stood and eyed in mute surprise
across the heaven’s deep,
As what I deemed where wisps o’ cloud
developed intae sheep.

And no’ the sort ain wad expect -
For I couldna’ fail tae see-
the sheep the Guid Shepherd tended o’er
Were o’ the human variety.

On observin’ ma perplexed gaze he enquired,
"Do ye stand firm as the proverbial rock?
"I wagged ma tail - so wi’ a quiet wheep,
He sent me off in hot pursuit, tae educate His flock!

Copyright - Viv Billingham Parkes


The best place to bury a Dog by Ben Hur Lampman

"There is one best place to bury a dog.
"If you bury him in this spot, he will
come to you when you call - come to you
over the grim, dim frontier of death,
and down the well-remembered path,
and to your side again.

"And though you call a dozen living
dogs to heel, they shall not growl at
him, nor resent his coming,
for he belongs there.

"People may scoff at you, who see
no lightest blade of grass bent by his
footfall, who hear no whimper, people
who may never really have had a dog.
Smile at them, 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."

Ben Hur Lampman
From the Portland Oregonian Sept. 11, 1925


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 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?

Rudyard Kipling


The Wally Dug

A 'Wally' Dog is a name given to a pottery dog, originally Delftware,
but more commonly made in Staffordshire in Victorian times.
The most popular version were Spaniels, usually made in pairs, in
a range of colours but most commonly brown on white background.
Considered to bring good luck, in Victorian times most mantlepieces sported a pair.
The one in this poem turned out to bring good luck at the rght time.

I aye mind o' that wee hoose that stood on the brae,
Its lum was aye reekin', its roof made o' stray.
The outside was bonny, the inside was snug,
But whit I mind best o' was the wee wally dug.

It stood in a corner, high up on the shelf,
And keepit an ee on the best o' the delf.
It was washed twice a year, frae its tail tae its lug,
And pit back on the shelf, was the wee wally dug.

When oor John got mairrit tae sweet Jeannie Blue,
The auld folks they gied him a horse an' a coo,
But when I left the hoose, ma hert gied a tug,
For a' mither gied me was the wee wally dug.

There's an auld saying, 'Ne'er look a gift horse in the moo',
But I looked that wee dug frae its tail tae its broo'
An' a fun' a wee slit at the back o' its lug,
It was stuffed fu' o' notes, was the wee wally dug.

I tain it hame tae oor Lizzle tae pit on a shelf,
An' I telt her the worth o' that wee bit o' delf.
An' we aye feed it yet through that hole in its lug,
It's a guid bit o' stuff, is the wee wally dug.


If you are interested in adopting a Border Collie from us,
please do not write to us or email us - we want to speak to you before we start the process.
Please phone us during office hours. Details here.

Calls to our office and mobile will only be answered during our office hours