A Dog's Prayer
by Beth Norman Harris

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 boom of eternal rest and I will leave you knowing with the last
breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.