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Here in this House

Written by: Laura Cathleen Patterson

I will never know the loneliness I hear in the barks of dogs "out there."
I can sleep soundly, assured that when I wake my world will not have changed.
I can trust arms that hold, hands that touch ... knowing no matter what they do, they do it for the good of me.
I will never know hunger or the fear of not knowing if I'll eat.
I will not shiver in the cold or grow weary from the heat.
My fur will shine and never be dirty or matted.
Here in this house ...
No matter what I look like, I will be considered beautiful and thought to be of value.
I will be talked to and even if I don't understand, I can enjoy the warmth of the words.
I will never be a substitute for anything I am not.
I will never be used to improve someone's image of themselves.
I will learn the things I need to know to be liked by all.
I will be loved because I am who I am and not someone's idea of what I should be.
I will be given a Name so I may know who I am among many.
My name will be used in joy and I will love the sound of it.
I will never suffer for someone's anger, impatience or stupidity. If I do not learn my lessons well, they will look to the teacher for blame.
I will feel the sun's heat and the rain's coolness and be allowed to smell all that can reach my nose.
I will never be cast out because I am too old, too ill, too unruly or not new enough.

Here in this house ...
There will be an effort to communicate with me on my level.
If ill, I will be doctored.
If scared, I will be calmed.
If sad, I will be cheered.
My life is a responsibility and not an afterthought.
I will run, jump and act silly because my back is being watched and I'm in no danger if I let my guard down.
I will learn that humans can be almost as kind and fair as dogs.

Here in this house ...
I will belong.