本文选自美国作家Jim Willis的畅销书《Pieces Of My Heart-----Writings Inspired by Animals and Nature》，以自述的形式讲述了一只家犬对昔日主人的真情告白。当年作者用七千美元以全版广告的形式在报纸上刊登了该文章，以一篇文章感动了所有的读者。
When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my 1)antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?"-but then you'd 2)relent, and roll me over for a belly rub.
1)antics [ˈæntiks] n. 古怪或可笑的举动；滑稽动作 2)relent [rɪˈlent] vi. 怜悯;变温和;变宽厚
My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of 3)nuzzling you in bed and listening to your 4)confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.
3)nuzzle [ˈnʌzəl] vt. 1. (用鼻)掘,擦,触2. 依偎,舒服地躺卧3. (用头或脸)紧挨，摩擦
4)confidences [ˈkɔnfidəns] n. 1. 信任，信赖；（对某人会保守秘密的）信任，信赖2. 信心, 自信, 把握3. 知心话, 私房话, （向某人透露的）秘密, 机密4. 把握；肯定
Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never 5)chided you about bad decisions, and 6)romped with 7)glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love. She, now your wife, is not a "dog person"-still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy.
5)chid [tʃaɪd] vt. 1. 责骂, 责备 6)romp [rɔmp] n. 无忧无虑, 快活 vi. 1. 嬉笑玩闹2. (尤指在赛跑或竞选等中)轻易获胜
7)glee [gli:] n. 1. 欢喜, 高兴2. 三部或四部重唱的歌曲
Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog 8)crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love." As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch-because your touch was now so infrequent-and I would have defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.
8)crate [kreit] n. 1. 板条箱, 柳条箱; 装货箱2. 一箱(之量)3. 破旧的汽车[飞机] vt. 把…装入箱中
There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you 9)resented every expenditure on my behalf. Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family.
9)resent [riˈzent] vt. 对…感到愤怒
I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her". They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers". You had to 10)pry your son's fingers loose from my collar, as he screamed "No, Daddy. Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.
10)pry [prai] vi. 打听，刺探（他人的私事） vt. 撬开
You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?"
They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my 11)pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you-that you had changed your mind-that this was all a bad dream…or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.
11)pen [pen] n. 1.笔；钢笔；圆珠笔 2.写作 3.圈，围栏 vt. 1.写（信） 2.把…关入栏中
I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a 12)tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the 13)hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?"
12)tourniquet [ˈtʊənɪkɪt, ˈtɜ:-] n. 止血带 13)hypodermic [ˌhaɪpəˈdɜ:mɪk] adj. (指药物、注射器等)皮下注射用的 n. 皮下注射,皮下注射器
Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself-a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place.
And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a 14)thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.
14)thump [θʌmp] vt. & vi. 重击; (指心脏)急速跳动 n. 砰的重击声