I had read this a time or two, some years ago. I found it again this morning while cleaning out a flash drive full of random stuff to make room for blogging and writing stuff. Odd coincidence that I would find it today, but we will visit that later. Anyhow, here it is. I figured I would share.
MAN’S BEST FRIEND
A Kentuckian’s Tribute
The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. 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 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 him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away, there by the graveside, will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.
Text is from a pleading that Senator George Vest made to a jury in Missouri in the fall of 1880.
Now, as nicely worded as that is there are a few things I don’t understand about it.
First, I have no idea what he wast trying to convince the jury of in this case. Unless the dog was the one on trial I suppose. I have heard of weirder defenses that actually worked. Then again it does not say it was a trial, merely that the senator was speaking to a jury. Who knows what inspired it, but I enjoyed it enough to keep it.
Second, and in my mind far more important, is wondering where I can get a dog like that one. Just in the space of the twenty minutes it took me to crawl my tired self out of bed this morning to get ready for work they had managed to get my attention, and get me thinking, several times.
Now, I am not talking about coming downstairs, seeing the larger of my two dogs, Elvira, sleeping on the couch. (Cute as hell, she was using a pillow and had slid under a throw blanket.) Nor am I talking about the other one, Rascal, who greeted me from the love seat where he was napping. Seriously, he opened one eye, saw it was me, let out a big dramatic sigh, and pretended to go back to sleep.
Odd how they both glanced up and then pretty much just played dead. Not that they can pull it off mind you, they both snore when they are actually out. Apparently all the time trying to teach them tricks paid off, now if they would just do them during the day.
I discovered the crime scene as I entered the kitchen. Not only was the garbage can tipped over but one of the cupboards was open as well. A mixture of debris, leftovers, and bits of paper wrappings littered the center of the floor. Off to the side the cupboard the holds the dog bones (or should I say held) was laying open, the child lock chewed through. Cans of vegetables, boxes of macaroni and cheese mix, pouches of soup, and the torn and empty package saying Milkbone on the side were strewn about.
On top of that everything, and I mean everything, was covered with a fine white powder. As I bagged up the mess that had magicly appeared in my once clean kitchen I found the source of the mysterious dust. It was a half empty box of cornstarch that had been in the same cabinet as the Milkbones. Why someone would decide to tear it open and flail it about was beyond me, I just cleaned it.
That’s when it hit me. The culprit thought they could get away scott free, but like every criminal they had left a clue.
I found myself walking back into the living room where my two oh so innocent looking dogs were “sleeping”. I went over to Rascal and gave him a good scratching (he loves that) all the while looking for telltale signs that he had been in on the great kitchen caper. I found not a thing.
Elvira, on the other hand, started to look a bit troubled as I came in and started playing with Rascal. With a great dramatic show of “waking up” she stretched out, yawned, and slid off the couch. Looks like she was heading for my daughters room, probably to curl up under the desk where she likes to try and hide from time to time. As she slowly tried to slip away the covers fell away to reveal her true nature.
It’s really hard to hide the evidence when the hundred pound jet black dog suddenly looks like a ghost. I don’t know how she managed to get her head clean, but from the neck down she was covered with a light dusting of cornstarch.
Just like it happens at the end of every episode of CSI the evidence has spoken.
Your busted Elvira, not even Senator Vest can talk you out of this one.