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A Dog's Prayer

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 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

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 or sight, 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.

- Beth Norman Harris