To My Ten Best Friends

Border Collie

As a young girl who absolutely loved Collies, no series of books were more perfect for me than Albert Payson Terhune’s popular children books about Collies, beginning with Lad: A Dog. To this day, I have an impressive collection of the old books and like to browse through them every once in a while. They’re rather silly to me now, typical children books in which the dog is always the hero. But they also truly capture the wonderful nature of Collies, and dogs in general. And nothing captures it better than a letter written by Terhune at the end of one of his books to his dogs after the passing of one of his most beloved pets. I absolutely love what he has written, and hope you do as well.

Stretch on the hearthrug in deep content, fond as the fire as I, Oh, there’s something when the old dog went I had not thought could die.

To my ten best friends-

Who are far worse in their ways and far better in every way, than I, and yet who have not the wisdom to know it – Who do not merely think I am perfect, but who are calmly and permanently convinced of my perfection – and this is spite of fifty disillusions a day – Who are frantically happy at my coming and bitterly woebegone at my absence – Who never bore one and never are bored by me – Who never talk about themselves and who always listen with rapturous interest to anything I may say – Who, having no conventional standards, have no respectability, and who, having no conventional conscience, have no sins – Who teach me finer lessons in loyalty, in patience, in true courtesy, in unselfishness, in divine forgiveness, in pluck and in abiding good spirits than do all the books I have ever read and all the other models I have studied – Who have not designed to waste time and eyesight in reading a word of mine and who will not bother to read this verbose tribute to themselves – In short, to the most gloriously satisfactory chums who ever approached to human vanity and to human desire for companionship <3