Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
My lead dog Mike was like a bear;
I reckon he was grizzly bred,
For when he reared up in the air
Ho over-topped me by a head.
He'd cuff me with his hefty paws,
Jest like a puppy actin' cute,
And I would swear: by Gosh! he was
The world's most mighty malemute.
But oh the grub that dog could eat!
Yet he was never belly-tight;
It almost broke me buying meat
To satisfy his appetite.
Then came a change I wondered at:
Returning when the dawn was dim,
He seemed mysteriously fat,
And scorned the bones I'd saved for him.
My shack was near the hospital,
Wherein there laboured Nurse Louise,
Who was to me a little pal
I planned in every way to please.
As books and sweets for her I bought,
My mug she seemed to kindo' like;
But Mike - he loved her quite a lot,
And she was very fond of Mike.
Strolling with her as moonlight gleamed,
I saw a strand of cotton trail
From Mike, the which unseemly seemed
To have its source behind his tail.
I trod on it with chagrin grim,
And with a kick his absence urged;
But as he ran, from out of him
Such yards and yards of lint emerged.
And then on me the truth did dawn
Beyond the shadow of a doubt:
That poor dam dog was gorged upon
The poultices threw out. . . .
So "love my dog love me," I thought,
And seized the moment to propose . . .
Mike's dead, but in our garden lot
He's manure for a big dog-rose.
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