One of the most beautiful and accurate descriptions of our canine friends.

ONE MAN'S SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO A DOG

The one absolutely unselfish friend that
a man can have in this selfish 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 in poverty,
in health and in sickness.
He will sleep on the cold ground where
the wintery 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 sores
and wounds 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 it's journey
through the heavens.
If misfortune 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 against his enemies.

And when the last scene of all comes,
and death takes the master in it's
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 alert watchfulness,
faithful and true, even in death.


-From a speech given by
Former Senator George Graham Vest
of Missouri. Delivered in 1870 when he
was acting as a lawyer in a suit against
a man who had killed the dog of his
client. -- He won the case.