A Dogs Prayer

by Beth Norman Harris

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful than the loving heart of me. Do not break my spirit with a stick, for although 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 most sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps all 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 the bitter elements.  And I ask no greater glory, than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the warm 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 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 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 Maste see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you, rather, hold me 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 life was ever in your hands.