Friday, January 24, 2020

A Tribute To A Dog

I am still having issues
with the loss of Howie,
So much anger because of the mistakes made
by the Drs and the animal hospital.
 I also struggle daily (hourly at times) with the fact 
that I wasn't there in his last moments.
As these past 2 years have unfolded,
with all my medical issues,
it really was Howie who got me through
the tough days and gave me a reason
to get out of bed or not retreat to it.
Not to mention the other 13 years 
he never left my side.

If you have never loved an animal
that way you most likely will not understand.
Your loss

All I know is the speech is 
 how I feel, and I'm tired of 
pretending it's getting better
 and this most of all.

"The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous... is his dog."

In 1869 A senator George Graham Vest represented a plaintiff whose dog had been shot by a neighbor who questioned the $150.00 he was asked to pay "for this mere animal."
This is the speech Senator Senator Vest of Missouri gave to the jury: It is known as A Tribute To A Dog

"Gentlemen of the jury: the best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his worst enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous... is his dog.
Gentlemen of the Jury: a man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death."

I found this speech today by hearing another 
given in 1936 by Lionel Barrymore
in the film The Voice of Bugle Ann
He attributes it to the Senator

"The best friend a man may have in the world can turn agin him. A man's son or his daughter that he's raised the best way he knows how may turn agin him. Folks that he trusts more than anyone else in the world can turn out to be snakes in the grass. A man can lose all his money just when he needs it the most. Folks that are cheering a man most when he's successful is the first one to heave a rock at him when he falls down. The only absolutely unselfish friend a man can have, one that will never be ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. Yes sir, a man's dog will stand by him rich or poor, sick or well. He'll sleep on the cold ground, don't make no difference. Wind or snow, all he asks is just to stand by him. He'll kiss the hand that ain't got no food to give him; he'll guard the sleep of a pauper just like he was a king. And when all his other friends is gone there you'll find his dog. A man might not have no roof to his head; he'd be friendless and homeless, and all the faithful dog asks is just to stand by him. Guard him agin any danger, that he kin. And when it's all over, a man can lay in Potter's Field in a grave that ain't got no headstone, there you'll find his dog. With his eyes sad, but open and watchin'. With his head between his paws, just waitin' ..."


Cottonridge said...

I feel your pain! I lost my Baby, my love, my soul in a similar fashion. True her illness was different but like you, I wasn't with her at the end. It still makes me hurt and cry and she's been gone almost 5 years. The only thing I can say to offer consolation is that I don't cry 3 or 4 times a day every day anymore. I've welcomed new loves into my life, they needed me and I need them. They haven't replaced Baby but they give me their love and comfort me. I hope you can find peace. I have to stop now I'm crying.

ps please don't feel you need to publish this. it's really just for you.

Constance said...

My heart goes out to you. I've recently lost two of my babies, it was senseless and cruel and I can't talk about it right now. But I know your sorrow and it is such a loss. I will keep you in my thoughts and hope that some how there will be some peace for both of us. And some justice for our beloved fur children.


Karen said...

I pity those who never know the love of a dog. Wish I had better words, I know that pain of loss and it's brutal. I hope you find some comforting in the knowledge that Howie had a wonderful life thanks to you. He was so loved.

Colleen MacKinnon; Penny Rugs and More said...

Amen. I've never had a dog for a companion, so I really can't say that I understand the grief of losing your friend. I do know however how horrible it is to lose one's best friend. I wish and pray that you find peace and heal from your loss. That you find the courage and strength to move on and that you will find a new best friend that will love you with all it's heart and you will love equally..., soon.

Blondie's Journal said...

First, these were lovely and powerful speeches, I particularly like the one from 1869.

We, as dog lovers, are kin. We all get each other. Large or small, they give us their whole heart and really ask for nothing back. I feel you when you speak of Howie helping you in your hardest times. I remember after I had my back surgery, I wasn't supposed to lift anything over twenty pounds. After my second day home, I started to lift Milo on to my bed, a high four poster which he could no longer reach. I simply needed him next to me and I would risk the worst to have that warmth and comfort.

I get the questions, too. They are there but don't let them consume you. You have a lot to give in a different way when the time is right and you need a thoughtful, playful outlook. And if we feel the way these speechwriters have expressed, what we have in our heart and intention is all that matters.

Love to you, Z. No doubt you are missing Howie. We all miss our irreplaceable friends.

Jane ❤️

Jillayne said...

Reading this, tears running down my face... I have been so lucky to have this with both a dog and a cat.. my dog from 7 - 17. She saw me through my parent's bitter divorce, fighting brothers, teen-age angst... immeasurable love, loyalty and solidarity. And then there was Bozzie, my cat. 1996 to 2012. Losing him still breaks my heart, and oddly, for pretty much the same recriminations you are feeling about Howie. Boz's illness came upon us so suddenly and at the time it felt impossible to figure out and deal with - time has let me see that we did all we could have done, and the story couldn't have ended differently no matter how much I wish for that to be true.
For me, the pets like that - the heartbreak comes not just from losing them. I think it comes from the understanding that they owned us as much as we owned them. You were Howie's... his person, his love. I think leaving you would have been as hard for him as it is for you to have him gone.
It was a year before I could think of Bon without crying - a whole year. And there are times still when I think of him and start crying all over again - it's just how it is with the special ones...

Kit said...

So hard. When there's been so much love. A day doesn't go by that I do not think of my Sam cat. But it is easier. And Bessie helps. Love ya, Kit 💕