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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 267 pages of information about Beautiful Joe.

There is one most important saying of Miss Laura’s that comes out of her years of service for dumb animals that I must put in before I close, and it is this.  She says that cruel and vicious owners of animals should be punished; but to merely thoughtless people, don’t say “Don’t” so much.  Don’t go to them and say, “Don’t overfeed your animals, and don’t starve them, and don’t overwork them, and don’t beat them,” and so on through the long list of hardships that can be put upon suffering animals, but say simply to them, “Be kind.  Make a study of your animals’ wants, and see that they are satisfied.  No one can tell you how to treat your animal as well as you should know yourself, for you are with it all the time, and know its disposition, and just how much work it can stand, and how much rest and food it needs, and just how it is different from every other animal.  If it is sick or unhappy, you are the one to take care of it; for nearly every animal loves its own master better than a stranger, and will get well quicker under his care.”

Miss Laura says that if men and women are kind in every respect to their dumb servants, they will be astonished to find how much happiness they will bring into their lives, and how faithful and grateful their dumb animals will be to them.

Now, I must really close my story.  Good-bye to the boys and girls who may read it; and if it is not wrong for a dog to say it, I should like to add, “God bless you all.”  If in my feeble way I have been able to impress you with the fact that dogs and many other animals love their masters and mistresses, and live only to please them, my little story will not be written in vain.  My last words are, “Boys and girls, be kind to dumb animals, not only because you will lose nothing by it, but because you ought to; for they were placed on the earth by the same Kind Hand that made all living creatures.”

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