The Loan

I will lend to you for a while
a dog, God said.
For you to love him while he lives,
and mourn when he's dead.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years,
or maybe two or three
But will you, 'till I call him back,
take care of him for me?

He will bring his charms to gladden you
But if his stay be brief,
you'll always have his memories
For solace in your grief
I cannot promise he will stay,
since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught below
I want this dog to learn.

I've looked the whole world over
in search of teachers true,
And from the folk that crowds life's land
I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love,
nor think the labor vain?
Nor hate me when I come to take
my dog home again?

And my heart replied,
"My Lord, Thy Will Be Done."
For all the joys this dog brings,
the risk of grief I'll run.
I'll shelter him with tenderness,
I'll love him while I may
and for the happiness that I've known,
forever grateful stay.

But should you call him back
much sooner than I planned,
I'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
and try to understand.
If by my love I've managed
your wishes to achieve,
in memory of his sweet sweet love,
please help me while I grieve.

When my cherished dog
departs this world of strife,
Please send yet another needing soul
for me to love all his life.

Author unknown