Lend Me a Pup

I will lend to you for a while,
a pup, God said,
for you to love him while he lives
and mourn for him when he's dead.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years,
or maybe two or three
But will you, 'till I call him back,
take care of him for me.
He'll bring his charms to gladden you
and (should his stay be brief)
you'll always have his memories
as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
since all from earth return
But there are lessons taught below
I want this pup to learn.
I've looked the whole world over
in search of teachers true
And from the folk that crowd's life's land
I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to take my Pup back again.
I fancied that I heard them say,
"Dear Lord Thy Will be done,"
For all the joys this Pup will bring,
the risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness
we'll love him while we may
And for the happiness we've known forever grateful stay
But should you call him back
much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
and try to understand.
If, by our love, we've managed,
your wishes to achieve
In memory of him we loved,
to help us while we grieve,
When our faithful bundle departs this world of strife,
We'll have yet another Pup and love him all his life.

-Author unknown