By Beth Norman Harris

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick 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 footsteps 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 worshiper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp 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.


Don't ever call him, "just a dog."
Who haven't the eyes to see
That I belong to him as much
As he belongs to me
God must have had His reasons
For making the likes of him
And I humbly hope with all my heart
...that I was one of them
The years have dulled his russet color
And his vision is getting dim
And he walks with a limp when the days are cold
Cause the dampness gets to him
He's not as young as he used to be
And his whiskers are frosted white
But he wags his tail as if to say
"You see, I'm still alright."
I cut his food in bite size chunks
And he gives me a toothless grin
Trusting in my love for him
Whatever shape he's in
He has accepted growing old
The way men cannot do
And I'm not ashamed to say he's taught
Me more than a thing or two
So, don't ever call him "just a dog"
Unless you are prepared
To match his steadfast loyalty
To care the way he's cared
For many the sad offenses
Committed in love's name
And how many times it takes a dog
...to put a man to shame!!!

Dog Literature
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