A Dog'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 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 in all the land...for you are my god...
and I am your devoted worshipper.

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 you 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 with the last breath I draw,
my fate was ever safest in your hands.

My mom did one of the hardest things a human being can do. She chose selflessly to put our family dog, Shelby, down today. Shelby like many of our dogs, was a best friend. She was mom's best friend. She literally stood by her through some of the hardest times of her life even through today. Mom said the hardest thing she has ever done was put Shelby down. After 17 years, her body was wearing down. She could no longer see, could not hear well, and most likely had unbeatable health issues. Today was hard for me just knowing mom was doing it. I prayed as often as I could. I didn't want mom to feel alone, even though I did tell her I would go with her. But she wanted to be alone. Anyway, I can't ramble on because it makes me cry harder. But I can't just let Shelby go. She's been in my life for many years, too. I still remember the day we brought her home. My brother and friend, Kara, were with us. Shelby was the runt and Shelby just picked us. What an amazing little white ball of fur she was. I will miss her desperately, but I know my mom will miss her ever so much more. Please keep mom in your prayers. Letting go of a pet is not an easy thing to do . . .

Thank you, Shelby, for being the best "sister" I could ask for.

Shelby was always a good helper. Here is mom with Shelby by her side helping her plant flowers one spring :c) She was always always by mom's side. And she forever will be . . .


Aimee said...

I am so sorry Val. You and your mom are in my prayers. (((hugs)))

Jennifer said...

praying for you and your mom...it's like losing a family member. This is why I'm so hesitant to get a animal for my kids....so hard. The hamster died 3 yrs ago and Faith talks about "Sammy" and cries when she talks about him..

Louise said...

Oh my goodness, serious tears in my eyes! I will think of your mom and send a prayer!! ((((HUGS!!!))))

Alexis Jacobs said...

What you guys did was one of the most loving things you could do as a pet owner. ((hugs)) Thinking of you guys.

Jen said...

I'm so sorry! I know how hard this is. My mom had to put her beloved, Tobeau, down, too, years ago. It broke her heart. Tobeau was her best little buddy since all of the kids were out of the house. Tobeau filled the void my mom felt with her babies in college and living their new independent lives. Tobeau NEVER left my mom's side either. I understand what you're going through and I feel for your mom. :) Thinking of you both. You'll be missed Shelby. Shelby and Tobeau will be playing together in doggy heaven. :)

Anonymous said...

THAT SUCKS! my thoughts and tears are w/you and your mom.
:( vic

oh amanda said...

:( I'm sorry.

Michelle said...

What a hard, hard thing to have to do! Hugs and prayers for you and your Mom!


Jennifer said...

Hugs and prayers Val.
Was Shelby a Maltese? We have one and I didn't realize he could live that long.

Anonymous said...

Thanks sweetie for the tribute to Shelby. It is so bittersweet. I miss her terrible but know she will no longer suffer. A sweet doggie she was.

Love, Mom

MP said...

I totally understand.

Becoming Me said...

I am so very sorry. Pets are part of the family and it is so heartbreaking to lose one. Shelby seemed like a wonderful dog