Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, 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 might
lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly
teach me the things you would have me learn.
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 the sound
of your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am
a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter elements. I ask no greater
glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for 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, my friend, when I am very old and I no longer
enjoy good health, hearing or sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me
going., I am not having any fun. Please see to it that my life is taken gently.
I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was
always safest in your loving hands.