|Treat me kindly, my beloved
friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness
than this loving heart of mine.
Do not break my spirit with violence, for though I would lick your hand between each blow, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me everything you want me to know.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the joyful wagging of my tail when your footsteps fall on my ear.
Please keep me inside when the weather is bitter and wet, because I am now a domestic animal, no longer accustomed to the stormy elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet by the hearth.
Keep my bowl filled with fresh water as I cannot tell you of my thirst.
Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play with you.
And, my friend, when I am old or I no longer enjoy good health, hearing or sight, do not take heroic efforts to keep me going. I am no longer having fun.
Please see that my life ends gently. I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always best and safest in your company.
Beth Norman Harris