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Provided by Yale, School of the 21st Century

When she was 10, a colleague’s grand-daughter was given a writing assignment: if you were asked to build a monument, who would it honor, and what would it say? Here is what she wrote:

My monument honors: My Dog Vladimir

My monument honors my dog Vladimir because he is brave. He was tied up for the first eight years of his life. People had beaten him while he was tied up. We adopted him in November of 2006. Adoption people put him on a truck in Tennessee. It was a 24 hour drive with lots of other dogs. He was scared when he got off the truck, but he has since learned to be loyal, loving, and trusting. I love him very much.

I would build a monument to my dog because his story would inspire many people. His monument would be placed on the East Bridgewater Common. On the many days we celebrate on the Common, people could see it. People who have problems in their lives could gain hope from his story. I would hope that people who would come and see it would go out and help dogs. Vladimir taught me that even in times of hardship, if you are strong and brave, good things might happen. That is why I think my dog should have a monument in his honor.