Mike

Robert William Service 1874 - 1958

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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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert William Service

Robert William Service was a poet and writer sometimes referred to as the Bard of the Yukon He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North including the poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew The Law of the Yukon and The Cremation of Sam McGee His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was Robert William Service was born 16 January 1874 in Preston England but also lived in Scotland before emigrating to Canada in 1894 Service went to the Yukon Territory in 1904 as a bank clerk and became famous for his poems about this region which are mostly in his first two books of poetry He wrote quite a bit of prose as well and worked as a reporter for some time but those writings are not nearly as well known as his poems He travelled around the world quite a bit and narrowly escaped from France at the beginning of the Second World War during which time he lived in Hollywood California He died 11 September 1958 in France Incidentally he played himself in a movie called The Spoilers starring John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich more…

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"Mike" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 4 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/32247/mike>.

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