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.
In their company I shall indeed be blessed.