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           Tribute To The Dog
      Gentlemen of the jury: The best friend
           a man has in the world may turn
           against him and become his worst      
           enemy.  His son or daughter that he
           has reared with loving care may     
 prove ungrateful.  Those who are       
 nearest and dearest to us, those whom
 we trust with our happiness and our
 good name, may become traitors to
 their faith.  The money that man has,
 he may lose.  It flies away from him,
 perhaps when he needs it the most.  A
 man's reputation may be sacrificed in
 a moment of ill-considered action.  The
 people who are prone to fall on their
 knees to do us honor when success is
 with us may be the first to throw the
 stone of malice when failure settles its
 cloud upon our heads.

 The 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.

 Gentlemen of the jury: A man's dog
 stands beside him in prosperity and in
 poverty.  He will sleep on the cold
 ground, where the wintry winds blow
 and the snow drives fiercely, if only he
 may be near his master's side.  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 wings
 and reputation falls to pieces, he is as
 constant in his love as the sun in its
 journey through the heavens.  If fortune
 drives the master forth an outcast in
 the world, friendless and homeless, the
 faithful dog asks no higher privilege
 than that of accompanying him to
 guard against danger, to fight his
 enemies, and when the last scene of all
 comes, and death takes the master in
 its embrace and his body is laid away
 in the cold ground, no matter if all
 other friends pursue their way, there
 by his graveside will the noble dog be
 found, his head between his paws, his
 eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness,
 faithful and true even to death."

     --Senator George Graham Vest

              Graphics by Penny Parker
                            Midi by N2 Rainbows

                 More Poems and Thoughts