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 although I should lick your hand between 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 the land, for you are
my god and I am your devoted worshipper.

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 so
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 draw, my fate was ever safest
in your hands.
~Beth Norman Harris~