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THE DOGGIE'S DIRGE
A dogs life is forlorn, dear God,
Though we may leap and sport:
Our sorrow - and it breaks our hearts-
Is that our lives are short.
A dogs best friend is man, they say,
Or woman - saint or knave.
So dogs long to escort those lives
From childhood to the grave.
We live too fast! At three months old
We match a child of four.
At one, were grown-up as our friend
Who is sixteen or more.
        In just two years were as mature
        As humans twenty-five.
        And when were ten, were getting old
        And lucky to survive.
Please hear our prayer, forgive our need
To leap and bark and snort,
For we must cram a world of love
Into a life so short!




from the forthcoming book Prayers of 100 Animals A to Z, by William Cleary

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