by Richard A Biby, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
From "The Versatile Hunting Dog" NAVHDA's Magazine; February 2006
From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog,"
or, "that's a lot of money for just a dog."
They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent,
or the costs involved for "just a dog."
Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog."
Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog,"
but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog,"
and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you will probably understand
phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."
"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust,
and pure unbridled joy.
"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.
Because of "just a dog", I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.
So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future,
the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away
from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog",
but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being
"just a man or woman."
So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog"
because they "just don't understand."