by Susan M. Pearson

I shall be a believer of all that is good in man and of all that is deserving in animals.

I shall plead for their lives, campaign for their safety and uphold their right to a natural death.

I shall seek out the injured and the maimed, the unloved, and the abandoned and tend to them in their last days.

I shall not forget their place in the hierarchy of life, nor that we walk in each other's paths.

I shall bear witness to the wonder they bring into our lives and to the beauty they bestow upon our souls.

I shall renew their spirits when they are waning, bind their wounds when they bleed, cradle them when they whimper, and comfort them when they mourn.

I shall be near them in their hour of greatest need - a companion and friend when the time has come.

I shall watch over them and console them and ask that the angels gather them in their arms.

From the creatures of the earth I shall learn the fruits of compassion and undying love, and I shall be called the beloved of God.