My Dog by Joseph M. Anderson

Here is a friend who proves his worth
Without conceit or pride of birth.
Let want or plenty play the host,
He gets the least and gives the most—
He’s just a dog.
He’s ever faithful, kind and true;
He never questions what I do,
And whether I may go or stay,
He’s always ready to obey
‘Cause he’s a dog.
Such meager fare his want supplies!
A hand caress, and from his eyes
There beams more love than mortals know;
Meanwhile he wags his tail to show
That he’s my dog.
He watches me all through the day,
And nothing coaxes him away;
And through the night-long slumber deep
He guards the home wherein I sleep—
And he’s a dog.
I wonder if I’d be content
To follow where my master went,
And where he rode—as needs he must—
Would I run after in his dust
Like other dogs.
How strange if things were quite reversed—
The man debased, the dog put first.
I often wonder how ‘twould be
Were he the master ‘stead of me—
And I the dog.
A world of deep devotion lies
Behind the windows of his eyes;
Yet love is only half his charm—
He’d die to shield my life from harm.
Yet he’s a dog.
If dogs were fashioned out of men
What breed of dog would I have been?
And would I e’er deserve caress,
Or be extolled for faithfulness
Like my dog here?
As mortals go, how few possess
Of courage, trust, and faithfulness
Enough from which to undertake,
Without some borrowed traits, to make
A decent dog!

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