Puppy salutes Martin Luther King’s Dream

Barclay and the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Barclay and the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fourteen-week old Barclay was reading the morning paper where he read for the first time about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his “I have a Dream speech” 50 years ago this Wednesday. “Woof!” said Barclay. Then his eyes became sad as he read the other stories in the paper and told his Dad to put on the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) shirt Barclay’s Mom found at a garage sale. The America Barclay wants is one that prevents cruelty to animals, including humans.

“Dad,” he said, “We have to go to Washington this Wednesday! We have to keep the dream alive.”

“We can’t go to Washington,” said Dad. “We’re not ready to go to Washington. Not until you learn to go potty outside. Maybe next year, when you’ve learned that going outside is your contribution to the prevention of cruelty to humans and the American way of life, we can go to Washington and visit Congress to train them too.”

Barclay looked at Dad and said Dad wasn’t worthy to wear that t-shirt. Dad goes inside all the time. “It’s prejudice, pure and simple and I won’t have any part in it! Dad hates dogs!”

“Sit,” said Dad.

“Just another form of cruelty and intimidation,” said Barclay. “Martin would never have treated me like that.”

“You don’t understand,” said Dad. “Martin was able to accomplish what he did in the Civil Rights Movement and the Peace Movement because he put himself under the strict discipline of non-violent resistance. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood discipline and self-discipline. I want you to learn the same thing. Every time you go in the house, it’s an act of violent resistance. It’s an act of terror. Do you understand? Sit!”

Barclay sat, knowing that the treat was in Dad’s hand. He took the treat, then squatted right in front of Dad, and said, “Maybe some day I’ll be self-disciplined like Dr. King. Right now I’m just a puppy in training. … So next year we can go Washington, D.C. and train everyone in Congress and the White House not to make a mess in their own houses?”

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