For Beeker

Squint - Beeker

We lost a beloved family member last night. He lived a long and happy life, surrounded by people who loved him. He may be the only dog to have an album named after him, which is the tenuous connection to music that I’m using as an excuse to post this here. He will be missed.

I don’t think I know any good songs about dogs, although I know some bad ones. If any of you do know any good ones, please let me know. In the meantime, here’s Rudyard Kipling instead.

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 for 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 for the 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?

Rest in peace, old friend.

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6 Responses to For Beeker

  1. Jason Austinite says:

    Oh, man, that sucks. Old Beeker!

    I don’t know if they’re necessarily good, but here are a few songs:

    Neil Young – “Old King”

    Cat Stevens – “I Love My Dog”

    Elvis Presley – “Old Shep”

    Fred Eaglesmith – “He’s A Good Dog” (I could only find this cover version)

    RIP, Beeker!

  2. mattmck01 says:

    Beeker was a good dog. He will be missed.

  3. Thanks, Jason. This morning all I could think of were “Old King,” “Feed Jake,” and a novelty song sung by Roscoe P. Coltrane about Flash from an album where the cast of “The Dukes of Hazzard” sang. None of those are good songs (well, maybe “Flash”…). I was trying to remember “Old Shep” but my brain just wasn’t working and when I Googled “Elvis” and “dog” it only gave me links related to “Hound Dog.”

    I’m sure most people find “Old Shep” to be maudlin, but I think it’s sweet. I’m glad your brain was working better than mine. It was good to hear it today.

    I had never heard of the other two songs. Thanks again.

  4. Alex LaPointe says:

    Oh damn, that dog was a king among men. I’ll play “Mr. Bojangles in his Honour”. Best wishes for you and your family.

  5. Alex LaPointe says:

    Beeks is probably playing fetch with a very disgruntled George Carlin.

  6. […] hasn’t been a good year for canines in my family. Brother Dane lost Beeker last June, and, quite sadly a few days ago, Brother Brandon had to put down our Siberian Husky, […]

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