I’ll lend you for a little while my grandest dog, he said.
For you to love while he’s alive
And mourn for when he’s dead.
It may be one or many years,
Or days, or months, you see.
But will you, till I take him back
Take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his charm to gladden you,
And should his stay be brief
You will have treasured memories
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught on earth
I want this dog to learn.
I’ve looked the wide world over
In my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes
With trust, I have selected you.
Now will you give him your total love?
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate when I come
To take him back again?
I know you’ll give him tenderness
And love will bloom each day.
And for the happiness you’ve known
Forever grateful stay.
But should I come and call for him
Sooner than you’ve planned
You’ll brave the bitter grief that comes
And someday you’ll understand.