The following is taken from a speech made by former Senator George Graham Vest of Missouri. It was delivered in 1870 when he was acting as a lawyer in a suit against a man who had killed the dog of his client. After the jury listened to Vest's impassioned speech, his client received damages of $150.

The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.

A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. 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 sores and wounds that come in encounter 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 misfortune 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 against 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 the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true, even in death.


A poem by Peter S. Griffin

Zack & Nikki

Zack, age 14 1/2 joined Nikki, age 12, on 4 August 2001.

DOGS CAN NOT GO TO HEAVEN, so some people say,
Perhaps, only because, they give us some of it each day...
I purchased Nikki, when just a pup,
Now remembering, how he cheered me up...

A tiny Chocolate Labrador, who scampered and played,
Czar Nicholas, "Nikki," brightened every day...
Always a true and loyal friend,
For twelve years, as a member of our family, he did blend...

With my son, Brent, he loved to play,
Retreiving tennis balls, Brent threw far away...
Taking him swimming we had great fun,
With Zack, our yellow Lab, how they would run...

Leaping into the water with a great bound,
Splashing all who were around...!
A contest, you see, who would be first to get the stick,
So much fun performing these tricks...

Nikki was the stronger of the two,
But buddies, they were bound like glue...
Dominance settled, Nikki would reign,
But Zack would challenge, in every game...

A test of strength and endurance, went on each day,
Jealous of each other, they'd growl, then play...
Never would they hurt one another,
Slowly, they became each other's brother...

Come feeding time, at each other, they would bark,
Balanced portions were no lark...
How Nikki loved to eat,
Wolfing it down, Zack to beat...

Everyday, when I came home,
Nice to know, my family, never left alone...
Our person, home and property, they would protect,
This great responsibility, they'd not neglect...!

Nikki, always wanting to please,
Learning new tricks with great ease...
Perhaps beating Zack, his secret inspiration,
But a dog biscuit treat, still brought elation...!

How he loved to ride in the back of my truck,
Knowing he was in the luck...
Going somewhere, a special treat,
He liked this much more, than "time to eat"...!

Whenever I got feeling down,
Playing with Nikki, I'd loose that frown...!
Such a beautiful animal, giving so much devotion and affection,
Chasing away the blues, he offered much protection...!

But on Nikki time took its toll,
His last year he looked so tired and old...
But still he'd insist on playing,
Didn't matter, his chocolate coat rapidly greying...

His last couple days, he was really sick,
But still to please, his last wish...
So sick he could barely raise his head,
Zack finally winning, "time to be fed"...

Dogs are smarter than some people say,
Zack knew Nikki passed away...
Unusually quiet and somber he watched me work,
As I covered his brother, with God's good earth...

I think there were tears in his eyes, the same as mine,
Both feeling so sorry, our buddy, Nikki, ran out of time...
DOGS CAN NOT GO TO HEAVEN, so some people say,
But to see Nikki and me there, I'll continue to pray...
For I know, he'd brighten my stay...!

Hi Guys, I just want to take a minute to introduce you to my new friend. His name is "Teddy", he is still pretty small but he gets bigger everyday! We have a great time playing together, he is so much fun! Your pal, Tara.


It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. "Is that a dog you got back there?" he asked. "It sure is," I replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said,.........."What'd he do?"


(Author unknown)

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?" "This is Heaven, sir," the man answered. "Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked. "Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open. "Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked. "I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets." The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. "Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water?" "Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there". The man pointed to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in." "How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog. "There should be a bowl by the pump." They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them. "What do you call this place?" the traveler asked. "This is Heaven," was the answer. "Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too." "Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's Hell." "Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?" "No. I can see how you might think so, but we're just happy that they screen out the folks who'll leave their best friends behind."

Santa brought Tara two wonderful gifts this Christmas, the gift of friendship; in the form of two Chocolate Labrador puppies!

Their names are Rhett and Scarlett.

Tara and Teddy have a ball playing with their new buddies!

Hi Gang, Just want you to meet my new cousin, Chloe. She is a Lhassa Apso and lives with my Aunt, Becky, in upstate New York. I can hardly wait until they come to Mineral Springs for a visit. We will have so much fun! It will be neat showing Chloe around and introducing her to all my friends here. Hope to see you again soon, too! Bye, Bye, Tara.





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