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"A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself." ...Josh Billings
Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends, the animals, especially for animals who are suffering; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to death. We entreat for them Thy mercy and pity, and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion, gentle hands, and kindly words. Make us to be true friends to animals and so to share the blessings of the merciful.
he best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its' clouds upon our heads.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, when the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master, as if he were a prince.When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its' journey through the heavens.
If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger to fight his enemies; and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its' embrace, and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.
I have had the above piece for years, but never knew the exact origin of it until recently. It is attributed to Senator George Graham Vest during the 1870 Burden v. Hornsby court case in Warrensburg, Missouri. Sen. Vest's oratory (Above is only a portion of Sen. Vest's speech; the latter half of it has been lost to history.) won the case of Charles Burden, whose favorite dog, Old Drum, had wandered onto the property of Burden's neighbor, Leonidas Hornsby. Hornsby made good his promise to shoot the first dog that wandered onto his property; that dog being Old Drum. He did this even though he had previously hunted with the dog and acknowledged him as one of the best hunters he'd ever seen.
Burden sued Hornsby for damages. Following several appeals, the case reached the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri. Burden received an award of $50.00 in damages for the loss of his canine. The Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce and dog-lovers around the country had erected a statue of Old Drum on the lawn of the Johnson County Courthouse lawn in Warrensburg on September 23, 1958. It is said that this speech provided the origin of the phrase, "A man's best friend is his dog."
If you can... (anonymous)
... start each day without caffeine, ready to greet the world,
... get going without pep pills,
... always be cheerful, ignoring aches & pains,
... resist complaining & boring people with your troubles,
... eat the same food everyday & be grateful for it,
... understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
... overlook it when those you love take it out on you when through no fault of yours, something is wrong,
... take criticism & blame without resentment,
... ignore a friend's limited education & never correct him,
... resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
... face the world without lies & deceit,
... conquer tension without medical help,
... relax without liquor,
... sleep without the aid of drugs,
... say that, deep in your heart, you have no prejudice of any kind,
Then, my friend, you are almost as good as your dog!
Man's Best Friend
Sometimes, when the weather is nice, I see the two of them coming slowly up the street. I feel like waving hello as they pass, but then I remember that my friend is blind. He is led by his constant companion who is his eyes.
There is a kinship, an affection that develops between a man & his dog that is often warmer than the bonds of friendship between humans. Even though one has grown blind & deaf with age, there is still communication - if only by one touching the other.
I watch as the two continue until they are out of sight... the gentle, blind old dog & the man who owns, guides, & cares for him each day.
Rites of Passage
(a story by Robin Downing, D.V.M., submitted by my friend, Spunkywoman)
Some of the most poignant moments I spend as a veterinarian are those spent with my clients assisting the transition of my animal patients from this world to the next. When living becomes a burden, whether from pain or loss of normal functions, I can help a family by ensuring that their beloved pet has an easy passing. Making this final decision is painful, and I have often felt powerless to comfort the grieving owners.
That was before I met Shane.
I had been called to examine a ten-year-old blue heeler named
Belker who had developed a serious health problem. The dog's owners; Ron, his wife, Lisa,
and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a
miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family there were
no miracles left for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old
dog in their home. As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be
good for the four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt Shane could learn
something from the experience. The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as
Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm petting the old dog for the last
time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on.
Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me - I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.
He said, "Everybody is born so that they can learn how to live a good life - like loving everybody and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, animals already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
This page is dedicated in loving memory of all the dogs I've had as pets; Buster, Buffy, Babette, Baby, Maggie, but most especially Bernie. (He has his own page.) I believe the words above pretty much say it all. If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy reading A Dog's Plea (poem).
|Dogs||Waiting (a poem about strays)|
|James Herriot Page||Animal House (great dog & animal-related graphics page)|
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|PetTags.com (locator collars)||Virtual Puppy (adopt, raise, & train one free online)|
|Dog.com||Dee Sovine's Dog Training Info Page|
|Canine Courtesy (free dog training tips, info, contact trainers free, online)||ChazHound's Dog Pages|
|Virtual Dog (adopt an online version of man's best friend)||The Dog Hause (a potpourri of dog-related stuff including essays, stories, sound files, fonts, and more)|
|The Groomer's Mall||Sally's Angels (service dog resource, free training tips)|
|Dog Breed Info.com|
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