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 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 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.
by Beth Norman Harris