Mans Best Friend

Mans Best Friend - where did the phrase come from?


Man's Best Friend

The Phrase "Mans Best Friend" originated in a court of law on October 28, 1869, when a man's dog (named Old Drum), was shot to death by a neighbor.  Animals Rights laws did not exist back then, so the man sought justice and hired 3 lawyers to sue the man who shot his dog.  One of these lawyers, named George Graham Vest, is given credit for originally coining the phrase "Man's Best Friend" during his final summation to the jury.  By the time he was finished with his speech, the jury only took 2 minutes to reach a verdict.  The jury awarded the victim $5 (a great deal of money back then). The jury also wanted the man to be sent to prison, but there were no laws governing this type of incident back then so the judge was not able to honor the jury's request for prison time.  This is a record of the final summation given by the lawyer.

Gentlemen of the Jury

The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy.  His son and daughter that he had reared with loving care may become 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 when he may need it most.  Man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill considered action.  The people who are prone to fall on their knees and do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our head.  The only absolutely unselfish friend a man may have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.

A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and sickness.  He will sleep on the cold ground, when the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he can 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 encounter with the roughness of the world.  He guards the sleep of a pauper as if he were a prince.  When all other friends desert....he remains.

When riches take wings and reputations fall to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.  If fortune drives the master fourth an outcast into the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his 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 grave side will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws and his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.

Please come to our Mans Best Friend Pet Forum to post your tribute to your best friends. We call it All Dogs Go to Heaven!

Don't have time to read great books anymore? Here are some of the wonderful Audio Books I listen to while I work, clean house, teach others with, and so much more! Some are real tear jerkers, some educational I suggest to others. Enjoy!

Try our Free Audio Books Trial.

Or jump right to some of our favorite Pet books, and hear the free samples here.

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul has stories about Pets as Teachers, Healers, Heroes and Friends. As Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (the Authors and Publishers) have said: "Animals bring out the goodness, humanity, and optimism in people and speak directly to our souls. This joyous, inspiring, and entertaining Chicken Soup collection relates the unique bonds between animals and the people whose lives they've changed: such as the dolphins who helped a paralyzed woman heal when doctors offered little hope; the dog who brought life into a failing marriage; the kitten who helped a mother mourn; and the flying squirrel who taught a man the power of laughter."
Listen FREE Now...

dogs-found-me Mans best friend and Author, Ken Foster, never intended to adopt an abandoned dog. But after bringing Brando home, he notices how many homeless strays there are in the city. Suddenly, he sees them everywhere and finds himself unable to resist taking them home. But what he gains from them in return is far richer than his own expense. As he forms relationships with each new animal, Foster finds solidarity between their misfortunes and his own, and unfiltered companionship through some of life's biggest hardships: the shock of New York City after 9/11, the evacuation of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and the day his heart nearly stopped for good. Listen FREE NOW.

And here is the favorite toy of all my pets-both cats and dogs. It is the Kong Ball on a Rope. It helps to clean their teeth, and if you have a chewing puppy, this is the best boredom breaker yet!

We support our favorite Non-Profit Organization, Debs Cares About Life.Inc. Deb is a true "Mans best Friend"! If you would like to help her take unwanted or uncared for Pets off the streets, provide them with Veternary Care, and find them "forever" homes, you can make a donation through us here.

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