Then each went to his own home-fires,
Forgot the lonely shack,
And not a soul was near to see
An old form stumble back
And crouch, sad-eyed, beside the door,
His bony length stretched flat --
He waited for his master's voice,
His friendly little pat.
Days had been lean for Old Tom Dare,
Not food enough for two --
But Old Tom whispered to his dog,
"I'll share along with you,
Since Jennie went away from us
There's been no one to care --
No one but you to give a thought
For lonely old Tom Dare."
And so the two of them had shared,
If it be feast, or fast,
That morning Rover had a bone --
It was their very last,
And there was nothing left for Tom --
It didn't matter so,
Because he lay upon his bed,
And knew that he must Go.
The careless villagers passed by,
As they were pleasure-bound,
But none of them took time to see
The faithful, hungry hound.
Too tired and true to leave his post,
He stayed there to the End . . .
And folks had said of Old Tom Dare,
"He didn't have a friend!"
The days have passed, but no one stops
Of all that come and go,
Old Rover lies beside the door,
Half-hidden in the snow . . .
I know that Old Tom had a friend,
A loyal friend, because
Today I found Old Rover dead,
The bone between his paws.
Marty Hale, "The Old Spinner"
All the Best Dog Poems