When it's time for an old friend to leave, there are few things more appropriate than Kipling.
FOUR-FEET (from "The Woman In His Life") I have done mostly what most men do, And pushed it out of my mind; But I can't forget, if I wanted to, Four-Feet trotting behind. Day after day, the whole day through— Wherever my road inclined— Four-Feet said, "I am coming with you!" And trotted along behind. Now I must go by some other round— Which I shall never find— Somewhere that does not carry the sound Of Four-Feet trotting behind.
HIS APOLOGIES 1932 Master, this is Thy Servant. He is rising eight weeks old, He is mainly Head and Tummy. His legs are uncontrolled. But Thou has forgiven his ugliness, and settled him on Thy knee... Art Thou content with Thy Servant? He is very comfy with Thee. Master, behold a Sinner! He hath committed a wrong. He hath defiled Thy Premises through being kept in too long. Wherefore his nose had been rubbed in the dirt, and his self-respect has been bruised, Master, pardon Thy Sinner, and see he is properly loosed. Master—again Thy Sinner! This that was once Thy Shoe, He has found and taken and carried aside, as fitting matter to chew. Now there is neither blacking nor tongue, and the Housemaid has us in tow. Master, remember Thy Servant is young, and tell her to let him go! Master, extol Thy Servant, he has met a most Worthy Foe! There has been fighting all over the Shop—and into the Shop also! Till cruel umbrellas parted the strife (or I might have been choking him yet), But Thy Servant has had the Time of his Life—and now shall we call on the vet? Master, behold Thy Servant! Strange children came to play, And because they fought to caress him, Thy Servant wentedst away. But now that the Little Beasts have gone, he has returned to see (Brushed—with his Sunday collar on) what they left over from tea. Master, pity Thy Servant! He is deaf and three parts blind. He cannot catch Thy Commandments. He cannot read Thy Mind. Oh, leave him not to his loneliness; nor make him that kitten's scorn. He hath had none other God than Thee since the year that he was born. Lord, look down on Thy Servant! Bad things have come to pass. There is no heat in the midday sun, nor health in the wayside grass. His bones are full of an old disease—his torments run and increase. Lord, make haste with Thy Lightnings and grant him a quick release!