A DOG'S PLEA

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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 should lick your
hand between blows, your patience and understanding 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 from the fierce wagging of my tail when the sound
of your footsteps falls upon my waiting ears.

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 and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going.  I am
not having any fun.  Please see that my trusting life is taken gently.  I
shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate
was always safest in your hands.

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