DEAR ABBY: Will you please reprint a request from a dog to its owner, beseeching the owner to put him to sleep when life ceases to be a happy experience?

It has been several years since I read it in your column, but I hope you will print it again, as it will be a great help to a member of my family who is having a hard time accepting the inevitable end to a 15-year relationship between himself and his "best friend." - EVA A. MICHAUD, BANGOR, MAINEDEAR EVA: With pleasure. Here it is:


by Beth Norman Harris

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, 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 should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

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 your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshiper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may 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, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest . . . and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

DEAR ABBY: Are there any children who have wanted to thank their parents for separating?

In my recent months of separation from my husband, I've watched my children transform before my very eyes! As the tension left our home, so has it left them. The boys are no longer confused about the inconsistencies in discipline, scheduling, rules, etc. Mealtime is now an occasion for family conversation and laughter. In former years, it was Dad's opportunity to criticize, and one of the children would usually leave the table in tears.

I know there will be scars, but sometimes good things come from removing the tension from the home. And best of all, I now feel free from the guilt others are trying to put on me with comments such as, "You really should stay together for the sake of the children."

Are there other families like ours? Sign me . . . FROM THE TALL CORN STATE

DEAR FROM: My mail tells me that there are many. Every separation or divorce is not necessarily an indication of failure. It is frequently a victory.

CONFIDENTIAL TO J.J.G. IN EUGENE, ORE.: Reforms usually come from those who got the short end of the stick. No one with four aces ever asks for a new deal.

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