Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I might lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when the sound of your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.
Feed me clean food that I might stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.
And, my friend, when I am very old, and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun.
Please see that my trusting life is taken gently so I may leave this Earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands.
Our thanks to the Author — Beth Norman Harris
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Thank you for responding. I tried to do a Google search with the author’s name: Beth Norman Harris and Beth Harris but the only thing I could come up with is that she lives in Palm Springs and that she wrote “A Dog’s Prayer” back in1948. I did a directory assistance (white pages) and typed in her name and city but nothing registered (perhaps because she does not have a land line phone or is not living). I’m trying to figure out more ways to get more information.
I cannot pay the Copyright Office in DC $165 per hour to tell me if the author’s work has copyright and/or renewal copyright privileges, or if her work is currently in the public domain.
There might be a website or two devoted to what’s in public domain that you could hunt down. Being that I run websites many times I can get by with a credit to the original author because if they were to come to me and say “Sorry, I don’t want you using my work” I can very easily remove it. It’s a whole ‘nudder story with printed works. Perhaps talk to your publisher and see if they have any ideas. Other than that, I’m sorry, Dennis, but unfortunately I don’t think I can be of any real help to you. This is really outside of my expertise.
No problem. Thanks for your input. The author died in the late 90s in Riverside, so I cannot contact her. I’ll do a little more research. I’ll likely use only a few excerpts or just mention the prayer and the author, and let the reader decide if they want to find the entire prayer.
I’m from Palm Springs, will have to look her up
I am writing my autobiography. I wish to include a Dog’s Prayer by Beth Norman Harris. How do I get the author’s permission to have this published in my book?
I would search online to find the author contact info and then contact her directly.