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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Negotiations

Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.


This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
BOATSWAIN, a DOG,
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
and died at Newstead Nov. 18, 1808.


When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth,
Unknown to Glory, but upheld by Birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below.
When all is done, upon the Tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonoured falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the Soul he held on earth –
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.


Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power –
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye, who behold perchance this simple urn,
Pass on – it honours none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one -- and here he lies.


-The Lord Byron, Epitaph for a Dog (1808)

I can tell you that a hot topic around these parts, for some time, has been if and when to get a new dog.  We've been out of that racket for 4 years now (to the day), and it's surprisingly tough to jump back in.  Things are, well, easier without a Fuzzenfarce around.  Blunt, maybe, but it's the truth.

We have the same conversation over and over again.
Jack:  Dad, can we get a dog?
Me:   Sure.  Sometime.  Err, someday.
Jack:  Ok. 
Me:  When you can take care of it.
Jack:  Dad, can we get a dog?
Caroline:  PUPPY!  RUFF RUFF!
Majesty:  Not one that sheds like Belle.
Me:  I love that breed.
Caroline:  PUPPY DAWDS!  PUPPY RUFF RUFF!
Jack:  Dad, can we get a dog?
Majesty:  NO SHEDDING.
Me:  Everyone eat your lunch.
Majesty:  What about a Labradoodle?  They don't shed.
Me:  I said eat your lunch.
Caroline:  PUPPY DAWD! 
It's like negotiating with the Palestinians.

2 comments:

Donna said...

We have this conversation every day too. I feel like I can't handle anything that barks while we still have nappers in the house- here I stand and can do no other. (and yes, the day we cave and get one- no shedding!)

El Comodoro said...

Catholics quoting Luther, cats and dogs living together, total chaos!

Good point on the napping. Didn't even think about that part.