Indiana Collie Club
"A swirl of gold-and-white and gray and black,
Rackety, vibrant, glad with life's hot zest,
Sunnybank collies, gaily surging pack,
These are my chums; the chums that love me best.
Not chums alone, but courtiers, zealots, too, ---
Clean-white of soul, too wise for fraud or sham
Yet senseless in their worship ever new
These are the friendly folk whose god I am.
A blatant, foolish, stumbling, purblind god, --
A pinchbeck idol, clogged with feet of clay
Yet, eager at my lightest word or nod
They crave but leave to follow and obey.
We humans are so slow to understand
Swift in our wrath, deaf to the justice-plea
Meting out punishment with lavish hand
What, but a dog, would serve such gods as we?
Heaven gave them souls, I'm sure; but dulled the brain
Lest they should sadden at so brief a span
Of heedless, honest life as they sustain;
Or doubt the godhead of their master, Man.
Today a pup; tomorrow at life’s prime
Then old and fraile; -- dead at fourteen years
At best a meagre little inch of time
Oblivion then, sans mourners, memories, tears
Service that asks no price; forgiveness free
For injury or for injustice hard.
Stanch friendship, wanting neither thanks nor fee
Save privilege to worship and to guard:---
That is their creed. They know no shrewder way
To travel through their hour of lifetime here.
Would Man but deign to serve his God as they,
Millennium must dawn within the year."
--Albert Payson Terhune
from "Buff: A Collie"