I searched a multitude of web sites but could not find a version of the poem that professes to be the original version.
Rebecca, a DLD (Dog Liver Disease) group member emailed me a version of the poem today to pass along to Dawn, Finnian’s mom and life partner of three years.
Rebecca is the “mother of Aahchoo (Liver Shunt Surgery, Possible Acquired Shunts or MVD), Bailey, Katy Bug & Maddie – and Willie & Cheeseburger waiting at the Rainbow Bridge.” Gotta love those names!
The version of the poem I’m posting here struck me as the most authentic one. There was no version I found that seemed to retain credible line breaks. Oh well – it’s still a moving though very sentimental poem. Since this blog’s column width is so narrow, I’m just going to let it auto format the line breaks.
- A Pet’s Prayer
Treat me kindly, my beloved master, 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 the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.
Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshiper.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, 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, beloved master, should the great Master see fit to deprive me of
my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather, hold me
gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of
eternal rest and I will leave you knowing the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.