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My Favorite Things: Pet Poetry

Your Dog and My Dog is a charming little book filled with poems about our favorite canine companions. Published in 1935 by the Reilly & Lee Co. of Chicago, the collection of works was assembled by Tony Wons, a popular radio personality of the day.

The cover of Your Dog and My Dog.

Known as “scrapbookman,” Wons collected written works by many great writers, including Whitman and Shelley. He shared his acquisitions with his many listeners through the Tony Wons Scrapbook, a radio show that bolstered record-setting book sales.

Depression era fans must surely have found comfort through the retelling of his collection of stories honoring man’s best friend. As timeless as they are touching, the poetry of Your Dog and My Dog speaks to our abiding love for the dog—no matter our circumstances or theirs.

The following poems from Mr. Wons’ collection are sure to touch today’s readers just as they moved dog lovers so many years ago.

Little Pup
By Ethel G. Chatfield

Goodbye, little pup, you are leaving us now,
Into a new home you will soon make your bow.
Don’t grieve, little pup, you will feel right at home,
With plenty to eat and perhaps a nice bone.

Be good, little pup, and obey the command,
Your new master will show you the lay of the land.
Be true, little pup, and your duties don’t fail,
Show the love in your eyes and a wag of your tail.

Fear not, little pup, though the world seems so wide,
A pal you will have, so stick close by his side.
So be brave, little pup, you have courage I know,
And the older you get, the more it will grow.

Don’t forget, little pup, your good manners to show,
To the friends of your pal, he will like it, you know.
And be sure, little pup, to bark at them loud
When he asks you to speak—then you’ll sure do him proud.

One more word, little pup, ere I bid you goodbye,
Just love him a lot, and you’ll surely get by.
You will win, little pup, all his love—you can’t fail—
With the love in your eyes and a wag of your tail.

Mike
By Mary Grace Ensey

I have a little, frisky dog,
Wire-haired fox terrier, he,
A handsome pup-and oh! He has
A lofty pedigree!
He’s busied with affairs of state,
He’s give a lot to know
What makes the rabbits run so fast,
And why the breezes blow!

He has to see just what takes place,
And who has come to call,
And he is kept quite breathless, chasing
Shadows on the wall!
He barks—and barks—and barks—until
“Mike, stop! Stop, Mike!” I cry,
“There’s nothing there!” He fixes me
With a disdainful eye.

Who wouldn’t bark at such a sight?
He saw the pixies pass!
He saw a kobold gray and grim,
Atop a blade of grass!
He saw a huge hobgoblin leap
From out an oak tree green!
He heard the flowers whisper low
About the Fairy Queen!

He knows so much, and sees so much,
Things that I cannot see,
I am amused at him—but then,
He’s more amused at me!
At times he waxes tolerant,
As one who can’t help seeing
That he is cleverer far as dog,
Than I as human being!

Without A Dog
By Douglas Malloch

A man may have his share of gold,
Though hard to get, and hard to hold,
May even have a little fame,
Although they soon forget your name,
May even have a little bliss,
The rapture of a faithless kiss,
And yet, the while the world you jog,
Life isn’t much without a dog.

Life gives him friends a-plenty, friends
As many as the coins he spends,
Yet, when he has a trail to go
Up hill, down dale, through rain or snow,
One, only one, will rise and leave
The good red fire, grieve when you grieve
Go where you go, the peak, the bog—
Life isn’t much without a dog.

Unless a man can say, “Come, Jack,”
Come Sport or Scotty, life will lack
The only love man ever knew
That would not vanish like the dew,
To ev’ry man must come a day
When he must walk some hurt away,
And, in that hour of doubt, of fog,
Life isn’t much without a dog.

Only A Dog
By Kenneth Beech Johnson

“Only a dog,”
The motorist said.
“Only a dog,”
As he onward sped;
Leaving the dog in the roadway dead.
Only a dog—I had loved and fed.

Only a dog,
We laid him away.
Only a dog
But I tried to pray:
“Good-bye, old pal,” was all I could say.
Only a dog—but I cried that day.

Only a dog,
But a faithful friend.
Only a dog
And I could depend
On his love and trust to the very end.
Only a dog—but you comprehend.

Only a dog,
And I know he’ll be
Only a dog
Waiting faithfully—
Waiting to welcome me gleefully—
Only a dog—for eternity.

 

Written by

Dan Sayers started “in dogs” through a chance encounter with a Springer Spaniel in 1980. A student of dogs ever since, he’s shown Spaniels and Hounds in the conformation ring and breeds Irish Water Spaniels under the Quiet Storm prefix. A dog lover with a passion for the creative arts, Dan has worked as a freelance writer, photographer and illustrator for many years. His feature articles and columns have appeared in Dogs in Review, Dog World and the AKC Gazette, and his design work has appeared in dozens of publications in North America and abroad. An interest in all things “dog” brought Dan to Best In Show Daily, where he gets to work with the most dynamic group of fanciers every day. He lives in Merchantville, New Jersey, with his partner, Rudy Raya, Irish Water Spaniel, Kurre, and the memory of Oscar, a once-in-a-lifetime Sussex Spaniel.