an old poem on “The Power of the Dog”, a fresh haiku on “a lost friend”, and a news on a found golden retriever on a freezing Irish mountain

Many of us have a soft spot in our hearts for our pets, e.g. a dog. My family and I have kept dogs as companions for generations. Today I found this old poem about the power of a dog. I also sighted a random news about a golden retriever stranded on a freezing mountain for two weeks being rescued by two doctors finally. The two were were hiking  Lugnaquilla, a mountain in the Wicklow range, on Saturday, far away from their jobs on the front lines. Near the summit, they found the dog, 8-year-old Neesha, who’d fled from a family walk nearby two weeks prior. The retriever was so cold and weak that she could barely bark. The doctors put some clothes on her to stave off any remaining cold and then ended up carrying her back down the mountain—some 10 kilometers. 

“The Power of the Dog” a poem by Rudyard Kipling – 1865-1936

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?

A haiku by Kainotes, 2021-02-11 (on “a lost friend“)

in sorrow and grief

memories of time too brief

beyond retrieval



#timesquare: the time of a dog traveler

#timesquare: the time of grace

Time to cross the square

heeding gentle beckoning

of time calling grace

This months photo challenge in square format from Becky is #timesquare

old friends framed in time together

old friends copy
Old Friends.

A picture on the wall of a mining museum. A man and his dog. From the background it appears they sat for this portrait in the artist’s studio. How long had they been patiently sitting together in this posture? How many sessions? Perhaps not too long. In real life how long had they been friends? I recall two faithful dogs (our longstanding family friends) we used to have as kids. They were mother and son, the son lived about fifteen years, the mother lived eighteen years. They accompanied us growing up. After they were gone, I do not remember my parents keeping another dog.

am i not rare? a sidewalk flower asks

rare purpleYes, you are rare. In my eyes. Today, I walk pass this way without expecting to see you. I am just walking and not looking. I am busy because I am going somewhere. This pathway and roadside are just things I happen to walk by from one spot to another spot. My destination is somewhere else. My interest is not here. I am just traveling by. But I see you. You look at me and smile. You reach out your invisible hand and offer a friendly greeting. Here, this neighborhood? Yes, you stand out despite the environment. The background. The class in which you find yourself. You display your purple. We exchange greeting for a while and I halt my steps for you for awhile. When I move on I know I have encountered a unique rarity. A simple greeting one morning between a traveler and a sidewalk on which I have imprinted my steps one morning which will not be repeated again. The next time I visit this place again it will be another time. A moment in time is rare and unique with its own existence.

a dog’s life continues beyond: a haiku (and a prose)

three dogsa day we gather

this shore and beyond we dream

daring to venture

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~All three of us together. It is rare. Because we depend on our human friends to bring us here for the fresh air and smell of the marks left behind by other living things, mainly dogs like us. Sometimes an occasional bird may venture here, but it is rather rare. We don’t talk among ourselves. As you will see, we each seem preoccupied with the sand or living creatures hidden inside. Who are they? What are they doing here? We love mysteries. We seek things out. We find them. O yes we like each other’s company too. I mean dogs. What a fine day this is! A day to dream and celebrate just being here. Free and unhurried. Away from the crowd (human) for some moments of our own.

a dog’s life continues not alone: a haiku (and prose)

a dog's life 2I know you were here

creatures living free and wild

land and sea and sky

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I am not alone. Not exactly. My human brings me here to meet friends. His friends. Mine too. Often we dogs do not need to meet physically. We smell and detect whether the smell is familiar. We know who has been here. For example, today I know someone I know has come just minutes ago. She stays aloof. But she is a friend. There are of course some others too. We pretty much stay aloof and keep to ourselves. But we are friends. We don’t kill or bite each other. Even in the wild, we know how to respect each other’s territory and live. Surprised? We are quite civil really.

a dog’s life continues alone: a haiku (and a prose)

a dog's life aloneThe world is not small

for all creatures in the wild

free to roam and soar

~~~~~~~~~~~~I long for freedom. I am a small dog. My owner is very protective because he ties me up when he visits a pub to quench his thirst and meet others like him. So I wait and wait. Someone comes and takes my portrait. I turn the other side so he cannot have a good picture of me. I am smart you know. My owner (or rather a human who feeds me) stays with me. He keeps me clean and warm. He goes to work and comes home and makes sure I know I can wait and not in vain. But still I worry a bit. What if he doesn’t come home? What if he drinks himself to sleep like in this pub and leaves me outside in the cold?  What if some bigger dogs come along and start bullying me? Life is so uncertain for a small dog alone like me.

a dog’s life continues: a haiku (and a prose)

a dogA beautiful day

smells of sea creatures abound

freedom on this shore

~~~~~~~~~~~~~A dog’s life is enviable to human. Like all other living creatures, I am not naturally bound in the wild. But some of us look for friendship with human. Sometimes I may feel obligated to please the one who feeds me. But generally I can remain free inside unless grossly mistreated by the owner (or any human) who tries to manipulate me instead of treating me as a trusted friend. On a fine day many owners bring out their dogs and walk around here. The owners compare notes. We dogs too. Sometimes we wish human see the looks in the eyes of some of us who are hurting.

all feet taste of salt: a dog haiku

a dog at sea

Perhaps strayed or left

no scent for your nose at best

all feet taste of salt

~~~~~~~~~~~~When he looks closer at the picture he begins to wonder if the cute little fellow captured is a dog or a bird. Some human are around taking selfie. Perhaps this dog belongs to someone as he seems to be wearing a collar. If he is a bird he seems quite unconcerned with the presence of human. He has a funny looking tail (which looks like a bird-head). It’s a pity no one includes him in their group selfie. It does not matter to him as he seems happy on his own too. This traveler happens to take a picture of the ocean which has included him anyway.

journey on: more little dog’s story -the gate and the cage

This little dog is trying her best to adjust to living in the new house which has no garden. One recent day she was put to test and subject to much confusion by the human.

He drove home and parked the car outside as he did not want to let the dog run into the street. So he got down from his car and unlocked the front gate, got in and locked up the dog (in a cage which the dog could easily get out as she could open the latch). By the time he got back to the car he discovered that he did not have the car key with him. Instead, he had the key to the gate lock.

He went into the house as he had got in and put his shoppings there. But, alas, the car key was not there either.

He went back to the car outside the gate and found that he had locked the car but the key was not inside the car.

Where could the car key be? He walked the whole distance between the gate, the front porch and the living room a number of times trying to recall what else he did in that short time.

Meanwhile the dog went in and out of the cage as she normally gets into the cage obediently when humans drive their cars outside or command her to sit inside the cage, but gets out of the cage the minute the cars are outside the gate. As it was uncertain whether the car was coming in or going out, she moved in and out of the cage, as the human went outside and came inside.

It was like a game of beating the other to the cage and/or the gate. Eventually the human cried out in despair, “O Lord, mercy, I cannot handle this any longer.” He was hungry and tired and longed to take a shower and go to bed. A prompting inside made him walk to the cage, and there the car key was, on top of the cage, next to the padlock of the gate! cute-dog-snow

What a day! What an adventure for the little dog, who had proven her proficiency in getting in and out of the cage. She also demonstrated her obedience when he placed a small jar of fruit enzymes at her cage door to deter her from getting out of the cage. She sat in the cage this last round and watched the mysterious jar with interest. She was careful not to open the door in case she broke it. What a dog!

Adaptability Scoreboard for mind and habit: human -0; dog -full marks.

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