Days of Heaven

What kid hasn't whined for a dog?
What parent hasn't caved?
"You’ll have to walk it every day.”
“I promise.”
A dog is a rite of passage, a cornerstone of life with an engraved plaque,
'Till death do us part.'
Which inevitably comes too soon.
Leading us to another passage of life that's hard and sad and all too real.
Why don't dogs live longer?
Turtles do it, parrots do it, even stupid clams do it.
Why aren't dogs bred to live longer?
They're bred for everything else.
For spots and dots and muzzles fair
And mugs of pugs and doodle hair
And coats a-dragging everywhere
I’ve looked at dogs that way
Alas their days are far from long
They sniff, they bark, too soon they’re gone
I lived with dogs a long time now
I walked the blocks, I made their chow
Alas their days are far from long
A fact of life that seems so wrong
A fact of life that seems so wrong
All to say:
Why haven’t they selectively bred a dog for longevity?
Makes no sense.
Why can’t a beagle do 40?
Thousands of years ago our ancestors adopted a wolf cub into the tribe. Over generations  they selectively bred that wolf into a veritable plethora of shapes, sizes and characteristics, from the teacup chihuahua to the giant Irish Wolfhound and everything in between. Surely the art of animal husbandry can be applied to longevity.
Because time is the greatest gift of all.