Lend Me A Dog

My girl Crimson, 2006

 

“I will lend to you for awhile a dog, God said,
For you to love him while he lives and to mourn for him when he is gone.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years, or maybe for 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 that 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 lifes’ 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 dog will bring, the risk of grief you’ll run.
Will you shelter him with tenderness ,will you love him while you may
And for the happiness you’ll know forever grateful stay.
But should I call him back much sooner than you’ve planned
Please brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.
If, by your love, you’ve managed my wishes to achieve,
In memory of him that you’ve loved,
Cherish every moment with your faithful dog,
and know he loved you too.” -Author Unknown

I am so aware of the circle of life and death at this moment. I am sharing my house with three adorable, full of life nine week old Irish Setter puppies; Cullen, Ciaran and Lochlan. Their momma Brea is almost as mischievous as they are, and as good a mom as she is, she has become more even more playful than she was as a young adult.

Then there is my beautiful, wonderful rescue girl Crimson,  pictured above.  She was almost five when I adopted her, and has been a source of joy almost every day since.

She has however aged quickly, particularly this year, and at age 11 1/2, I try to treasure every day I have with her. She sleeps much of the day now, and has trouble getting up and down. It is a major feat for her to climb the stairs each night to go to bed, and if it gets too much more difficult I will probably begin sleeping on the couch downstairs so that she won’t have to try to come to me.  She still eats well, and occasionally has a playful period. It may not last for long, but it encourages me that it is not her time to leave me just yet.

When it is that time, I pray that I will know, and will not try to selfishly keep her going when it is more for my sake than hers. It can be a hard call, especially when we who love these creatures sometimes have to be the ones to make that final decision to let our beloved pets go; to continue their journey, whatever that may be. 

As heartbroken as I will be when it is her time, if it is up to me to make the decision, I will be with her till the end. She deserves nothing less. And though the mourning will be hard I am so very thankful that she has been lent to me for whatever time I get to share my life with her.

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8 responses to “Lend Me A Dog

  1. I have been looking for a copy of this lovely poem which I remember reading when I lost my Setter at the young age of 2 years.
    Thanks
    Liz

    • Liz I am so glad you found it here. What kind of setter did you lose? I have Irish myself, and each one is so very precious.

    • Ah Liz, I found your website. My girl is half British bred, so we have that in common. Your dogs are lovely. I didn’t see any pedigrees on your website, where would I find those? Best of luck at Crufts this year, I still hope to make it over at some point for that show.

  2. Lucy was my first Irish Setter and it was devistating to loose her at such a young age. I had Springer Spaniels before but Irish Setters have taken over the house!
    Glad you found the web site. If you click on puppies born 2005 or 2007 a drop down menu will give you a link. Crufts is always a good day out, hopefully you will make it soon.
    How many Irish do you have?

  3. I have four, the two adults are pictured on the blog, and I have two puppies, littermates, who are 4 months old today. It keeps me on m toes, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  4. Love this writing.
    We had 3 red heads, but my Cherry Bounce left us last easter after a long struggle with Cancer at almost 14. I understand the promise we make our Fur Kids, I was holding her tight in my lap when she asked me with her eyes if it was okay that she waited for me at the Bridge. Sad day and we miss her still and always will.
    We still have two Red Heads with us now, Cherry’s son, shiloh and Moose (102 pound Irish). We are looking for a girl now to join the clan here in Woodinville, but searching I found your web site, wonderful pups you have, God Bless!

  5. Scott, thanks for your reply. I have friends, peggy and Jim, who also had a wonderful girl named Cherry Bounce. What a wonderful long life she had, almost fourteen is unfortunately an unusuallylong life for an Irish! If you are looking, may I recommend looking at Save Our Setters, http://wwwsaveoursetters.org? They are far away but have foster homes in a nmber of states, and though it can be a bit complex sometimes, can help with transport arrangements if you find a perfect match. You can also try Petfinders, and the Irish Setter Club of Seattle very occasionally gets rescues as well. We do have a website for that.
    My girl is still with me, which I consider a minor miracle. I say a prayer of thanks for every day I am blessed to have her still here, each day is a special gift. She isn’t ready to leave us quite yet, and as much as I try to prepare myself in the meantime, I know it is still going to leave a huge void when I lose her.
    Please give Shiloh and Moose some hugs and ear scritches for me.

  6. Same Cherry Bounce, I met Jim and Peggy on the Big Island and when they were returning here to Washington State, Cherry and her son, Shiloh became part of the house. So same Girl, Jim and Peggy allowed her to enrich my life for some wonderful years. Moose (Little Deuce Coup) is from Jim and Peggy as well, one of Sunny’s boys.

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