“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
—Josh Billings (a.k.a. Henry Wheeler Shaw; humorist and lecturer)
I am your dog.
You chose me as a pup. Paid good money for me. Took me to your home.
And, while you never promised to love, honor, and obey me, you did promise to care for me.
Feed me. Exercise me. Pay attention to me.
You haven’t exactly done that.
You tie me to a stake in the yard and march off to work, leaving me to figure things out by myself for hours on end.
Sure, you put out some water. But when I saw that squirrel, I got excited and tipped the bowl over.
And when I noticed that other dog walking by on a leash, I started barking and wrapped myself completely around the stake.
And since I can’t untangle the rope, I’m forced to lie in the hot sun.
When that nice shade tree is so close.
The neighbors complain about my barking, but what else can I do? Human, I’m bored!
Nor can I look forward to your company when you get home.
You’re too tired to walk me. Or throw a ball for me. Or give me a belly-rub.
How I’d love it if you’d brush me once in a while, too.
And that time you slapped me in my face for growling at another dog? Let’s just say that was uncalled-for. Painful and humiliating as well.
Remember, I don’t learn anything good from harsh hands.
You know, pushing my sensitive nose into the vomit I couldn’t help coughing up wasn’t kind, either.
Worst of all are the times you leave me out at night, when there are strange shadows and scary sounds. Don’t you know I’d give anything to curl up in a corner of your bedroom and watch you sleep?
You see, I might be a tiny part of your world, but to me, you are my world.
Even if you don’t keep up your end of the bargain.