v1) I have proven myself incapable of distinguishing between what I need and what I want. The Master lays down for me nutritious food and clear water. I beg for table scraps, wolf them down, and barf it all up on the carpet. I root through the garbage, I drink from the toilet. In spite of all this, the Master loves this shepherd.
v2-3) Our friendship has been formed by many walks. It is in going out into the world that I have come to know my Master’s will. He leads me around dangers and across busy streets. He seems to know both the destination and the lessons I need to learn on the way. He knows when I need to rest, or take a drink. He always has a bag handy for when I poop. He waits patiently for me and teaches me to wait for him.
v 4) I don’t think about death. I know that my Master’s life will go on much longer than mine. I simply hope that he will remember me. The Master has disciplined me when I’ve needed it. He has guided me when I have been anxious. In fact, he has never failed at this. I am comforted. I have the strength to face the unknown.
v5) When the Master has his friends over, they sit at table and give thanks for bread and wine. They pass the dishes of food around the table. They share. This is another thing beyond my comprehension. There are dogs in the neighborhood that I hate. I have fought. When I am hurt, he takes me to the vet and binds my wounds with salve. I know that he wants me to be more like him, but I am just a dog.
v6) Once, I was a stray and then I did time in the Animal Shelter. Since my Master has found me, I have known goodness and mercy. I plan to stay close to my Master all the days of my life, and hope to see him again when I cross over into the unknown.