Instead of answering several emails about when I was going to post the next chapter, I opted for the public announcement method. Plus, I felt like sharing something I found a while back while bouncing around the net. It's a poem that reminded me of a couple exceptional four-legged best friends I've had in my life.
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful, and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
by anonymous author
A few people really get that poem. You will know who they are when their voice gets a touch scratchy, or they blink a few times to clear the excess moisture, while they read this aloud. They are the ones who had the luck, or fate, to have that one dog that stood out from the rest. The one that seemed to look at you as if he really understood you. I've had the privilege to have had more than one who was like that in my life. I sure miss those guys. I think Lord Byron summed it up with what he placed on the tombstone of his faithful friend.
"The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still the master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth,
While man, vain insect hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven."
So, maybe the next time you think you should let your best friend know just how much you appreciate him, you can share your girlfriend or wife with him. Hey, it's the least you can do for the one who's more devoted to you than she is. (When's the last time your dog emptied your wallet without a hint of thanks?)