“The Prayer of a Dog”
Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in the world is more grateful for kindness than my loving heart.
Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I would 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 domestic animal and no longer used to bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.
Though you had no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshiper.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water; for although I would not approach 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 biding, walk by your side and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should yours be in danger.
And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to take 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 booth of eternal rest and I will leave you.