Man’s Best Friend

Posted: March 1, 2007 in General Study, History

I just arrived home from spending my day researching disability payments in 1820s court records. Suffice it to say I don’t think I can write original material. So I would like to share something with you today.

Senator George Vest delivered the following closing argument in the trial of Burden v. Hornsby. The case involved the intentional shooting of Burden’s favorite hunting hound by Hornsby. I warn you, this speech makes me cry EVERYTIME I read it. You have been warned.

“Gentlemen of the jury, the best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter whom 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 good name — may become traitors in their faith. The money that a man has he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it 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 absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world — 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 poverty, in health and sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow, and the snow drives fiercely, if only he can 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 encounter 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.” (Link)

  1. cumby says:

    Love dogs, always have a dog, will always have a dog. They will all be with me in heaven, no matter what the theological pinheads say. Besides, “Dog” is “God” spelled backwards. 😀

  2. Amen. I like to hope that my dogs will meet me on the new earth. By then, I hope, they will be much better behaved.

  3. timbob says:

    A very noteworthy observation. We can learn much from the canines.

  4. I like to think they provide the most “God like” love of any creature in this world. They offer love to all, they offer it without condition, and they are quick to forgive any offense.

  5. markrmorris2 says:

    There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, I call mine Old Yeller.

  6. Lynn says:

    My husband and I have 2 Golden Retrievers….they are our best friends. There is an unconditional acceptance that they give to us and it always kindles our spirits and makes us happy.

    That basic trust and devotion is so easy for a dog to give, but so difficult for many humans to achieve. Doesn’t it seem that this is one of the most basic beauties we want in life? Why then is it oftentimes so hard to do?

  7. yunahalo says:

    I’ve actually been reading this… when are ya gonna post new before and after pics?? My husband is cheering for you! He actually told me to save this link! Good luck!

  8. I’ll be posting new before and after pics tomorrow. I am currently 195.6lbs. I am still wrestling with some chest congestion and coughing that has kept me from working out- so any weight loss at this time is just dietary. And as you know dietary weigh loss is VERY slow when you have less than 50 lbs to lose.

    Thanks for checking in frequently. I look forward to seeing you guys comment tomorrow when I post the new pics.

  9. Ellie says:

    makes me think of greyfriar’s bobby, the wee dog that sat by his master’s grave here in edinburgh and refused to move from the spot.

    my family had a golden retriever for 12 years, she died the end of last year. when i went home during the christmas holidays the house was definitely missing something! losing her was more painful than anything/anyone i’ve ever lost before. i live for the day that i can get another dog, roll on graduation!

  10. […] the way, if you want to know why I love this dog so much just click here and read this post about man’s best friend.  He was all that AND […]

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