When a dog has had his day

He said “Where shall I bury my Dog?”

I replied to that man that there are various places in which a dog may be buried. I am thinking of a Welsh Springer Spaniel whose coat was flame in the sunshine and who, so far as I am aware, never entertained a mean or unworthy thought. This particular Spaniel is buried beneath a cherry tree, under six feet of garden loam, and at its proper season the cherry tree strews petals on the green lawn of his grave.

Beneath a cherry tree, or an apple, or any flowering shrub, is an excellent place to bury a good dog. Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy summer, or gnawed at a flavorous bone, or lifted his head to challenge some strange intruder.
These are good places, in life or in death. Yet it is a small matter.

For if the dog be well remembered, if sometimes he leaps through your dreams as in life, eyes kindling, laughing, begging, it matters not at all where a dog sleeps. On a hill where the wind is unrebuked, and the trees are swaying, or beside a stream he knew in puppyhood, or somewhere in the flatness of a pasture land where cattle graze. It is all as one to the dog, and all as one to you, and nothing is gained and nothing is lost – if memory lives.

But there is one best place to bury a dog, if you bury him in this spot, he will come to you when you call – come to you over the grim, grim frontiers of death, and down the well remembered path, and to your side again. And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel they shall not growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he belongs there.

People may scoff at you who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no whimper, people who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them, for you shall know something that is hidden from them, and that is well worth knowing.

The one best place to bury a good Dog is in the heart of his master.

When a dog has had his day

Mark Chapman

Hove, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

A friend gave this to me before he sadly died, I think he wrote it but if anyone claims that it is copyrighted just let me know and I will remove it. (just found out that the piece was in fact written by Ben Hur Lampman of Oregon in 1926),

This is posted for you Mitch, may you rest in peace.

Artwork Comments

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