Found this in my travels.

 In 1870, nine years before he became a U.S. Senator, attorney George
 Vest (D-MO) defended a farmer whose hunting dog, "Old Drum," had
 allegedly been killed by a neighbor.  Vest didn�t call anyone to the
 witness chair or trot out exhibit A, B, C or D.  Instead, he simply
 said this...

     Gentlemen of the jury:

     The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and
 become his enemy.  His son or daughter that he has reared with loving
 care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us,
 those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become
 traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It
 flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most.

     A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered
 action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor
 when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice
 when failure settles its clouds upon our heads. The one absolutely
 unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one
 that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or
 treacherous is his dog.

     Gentlemen of the jury, a man's dog stands by him in prosperity and
 in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold
 ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if
 only he may be near his master's side.

     He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the
 wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the
 world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince.
 When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and
 reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in
 its journey through the heavens.

     If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world,
 friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than
 that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his
 enemies, and when the last scene of all comes and death takes the
 master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no
 matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside
 will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad
 but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death."


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23 April 2007