Today is National Love People Day. Is it just me or is that becoming harder and harder to do in 2020? You know what’s not harder? Loving dogs and having our dogs love us. In fact, for some, it’s easier because they are spending more time at home with their dogs and they are walking more, spending more time playing with them, cuddling, feeding them extra treats, and more.
Some days I feel as if I have written every single thing possible about why our dogs love us so much. Really, is there anything possibly left to say?
I found this pretty cool legal case I thought I’d share. The language is old-fashioned and you might not be into legal precedent. But it speaks volumes about our relationships with dogs. Pictured is a statue dedicated to Old Drum in Warrensburg, Missouri. And, yes, it made me tear up knowing that I have a best friend like no other in my life. And so do you.
“One of the greatest pieces of prose regarding dogs comes from the closing remarks of a jury trial held in Missouri in 1870. In the events leading up to the trial, a black and tan hound was found wandering on the property of a man named Hornsby who on October 28, 1869, ordered his farmhands to shoot the dog. The dog was named Old Drum and was owned by a Mr. Burden, who sued Hornsby for damages. Below are excerpts from his lawyer’s closing remarks:
“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 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 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 stones 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, 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 fierce, 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 from an 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 wing 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 his company to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in his 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 in death.” – George Vest.
As you can imagine after such a moving oratory, Burden won the case and it is from these remarks that we get the common term for dogs: “man’s best friend.”
Dogs are nobler and better than you or I, anyone that tells you different is not worth your time.