Saturday, December 30, 2006

Rest in Peace, Dear Friend

In memoriam of occasional commentor and blog-buddy Blewsdawg's sad news about the passing of his companion Snickers, I offer George Graham Vest's moving Eulogy on the Dog.

The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most.

A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its clouds upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and 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. She will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only she may be near his master's side.

She will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. She will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. She guards the sleep of her pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, she remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, she is as constant in her love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

If fortune 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 its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, her head between her paws, her eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.

Those of us who share our lives with a canine companion -- or companions -- know well your pain, Blews......and offer our deepest, deepest sympathies.

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