Now I lay me down to sleep,
The king-size bed is soft and deep…
I sleep right in the center groove
My human can hardly move!
I’ve trapped her legs, she’s tucked in tight
And here is where I pass the night
No one disturbs me or dares intrude
Till morning comes and “I want food!”
I sneak up slowly to begin
My nibbles on my human’s chin.
She wakes up quickly, I have sharp teeth -
And my claws I will unsheath
For the morning’s here and it’s time to play
I always seem to get my way.
So thank you Lord for giving me
This human person that I see.
The one who hugs me and holds me tight
And sacrifices her bed at night.
A Staffordshire Bull-terrier Puppy
Very Few south Africans haven’t heard of Jock of the Bushveld.
Jock of the Bushveld was a brown Staffie (English Staffordshire Bull Terrier) that belonged to a Percy Fitzpatrick in South Africa during the 1800s. As an ox-wagon transport driver, Fitzpatrick used to take his dog Jock with him on his travels. He would recount his adventures to his children on story-nights and as bedtime stories.
Some of the events in Jock’s life included:
- Jock was the runt of the litter and was saved by Fitzpatrick who adopted the puppy.
- Jock was coerced into fighting a baboon by a gambler and bcame a fighting dog
- Jock his hearing due to an injury.
- Jock was shot because he was accused of killing chickens. He was however not guilty and only defending the
chickens from an intruding canine.
Personally I think this is terrible. It would be terrible even if he did kill the chicken. Dogs have a natural hunting instinct. How selfish and hypocritical of the humans to shoot him for what humans do en masse (killing chickens).
Fitzpatrick’s friend Rudyard Kipling encouraged him to write a book about Jock’s adventures. The book, based on the true story of Jock’s life, was published in 1907 and was very well received. It was also translated into several languages.
A movie based on the book was made in 1986 but some people didn’t like it because it lacked a happy Hollywood ending. Another movie with a happier ending was made in 1995.
The is a statue in honour of Jock in from of the city hall in Baberton, Mpumalanga (South Africa), that was sculpted by Ivan Mitford-Barberton. The Kruger National park reflects on this canine hero and has paid tribute to this famous dog in the form of the The Jock Safari Lodge. Jock also has his own FaceBook fanpage
Jock of the Bushveld is definitely an interesting story. You can find the book online or at any good bookstore. You also might be able to find it at a shop that has secondhand books for sale.
THE POWER OF THE DOG
There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie–
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.
When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find–it’s your own affair–
But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.
When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.
We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ‘em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long–
So why in–Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?
by Rudyard Kipling.