Henry The “Just A Dog, Dog”–And Now His Watch Has Ended

He was just a dog.

But he had a vocabulary!

He was just a dog

He understood… words!

He was just a dog

He could not speak the words, but he heard the words and he knew the words. He responded to the words. He taught me some ‘new’ words. (Sorry; they do not translate well here, but suffice to say…)

He was just a dog

He knew lots of words. More than some people, I’d venture. And his understanding was more than some people I will not venture to mention.

He was just a dog

He did not do so many ‘doggy’ things. He did ‘other’ things. He never got bogged down with mundane dog things. He refused dog boundaries. He knew stuff.

He was just a dog

Actually, he was a benevolent dictator; is what he was

He was just a dog

Then how did he effortlessly enslave two ‘humans’ for so many years? Can ‘just a dog’ do that?

He was just a dog

No. He was a ‘playah’, always a ‘contender’, always a subtle ‘man’ipulator. He had it goin’ on. 

He was just a dog

He had a ‘King’s’ name…

Yet, he was still just a dog

He was ‘every-man’. Sometimes he was just a cat. Sometimes he was just a clown. Sometimes he was just a possum. Sometimes he was just a spider (waiting for something to drop from the Magic Treat Cupboard…) Sometimes he was just my pet raccoon. Sometimes he was just Freud. Sometimes he was just Dear Abby. Sometimes he was just my ‘sponsor’. And every once in a while, yes he was just a dog.

The best dog ever.

A dog for all seasons–no rhymes, no reasons–minimal lesions .

And now he’s gone.

And my heart is broken.

But Lance! He-was-just-a-dog!

Not to me. A bent wheel cannot be mended.

Kipling said it best:

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?

We spoke in tears of fifteen years
How his dog and him
They travelled about
His dog up and died
He up and died
After twenty years he still grieves

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