A Dog’s Prayer
"Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in the entire world
There is nothing so pure and
strong as the love of a dog for his Master.
one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish
world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves
ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. He will kiss the hand that has
no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters
with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master
as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When
riches take the wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant
in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens . . .
Threat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness that the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should like your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshipper.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I would not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to ramp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should your life be in danger.
And, beloved master, should the great Master see fit to deprive me of my health, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest—and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.
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