TREAT ME KINDLY
Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, 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 learn.
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 footsteps fall upon my ears.
Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, For I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to the bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.
Keep my pan filled with water, for 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, my friend, when I am very old, and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and good sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going.
I am not having fun. Please see that my trusting life is taken gently. I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I drew, that my fate was always safest in your hand.
-By Beth Norman Harris 1968-
A walk with John and Teak.