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"Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well."
Bonnie Wilcox 'Old Dogs, Old Friends'
"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace."
"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog."
Sidney Jeanne Seward
"How thick a mass of sound, serviceable ignorance is comfortably covered up in the stupid word instinct! Simply by pronouncing this one fetish word, all the wisdom, all the mental powers of animals lose their natural significance, are at once emptied."
John Muir, Memories of the dog Stickeen, 1880
"The fidelity of a dog is a precious gift demanding no less binding moral responsibilities than the friendship of a human being. The bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth can ever be.
"Dogs display reluctance and wrath
If you try to give them a bath.
They bury bones in hideaways
And half the time they trot sideaways."
"The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too."
"Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear."
"We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet; and, amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog has made an alliance with us."
"He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."
"All of the animals except man know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it."
"If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them."
"I used to look at [my dog] Smokey and think, 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what you were thinking,' and he'd look at me like he was saying, 'If you were a little smarter, I wouldn't have to.'"
"Though our spirit be but the feeble glow of a single flame, for the one who keeps it burning bravely to the end, death is not a defeat."
Adapted from Robert Terry Weston, as part of a candle-lighting ceremony
"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
"My little dog---a heartbeat at my feet."
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals... In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth."
"Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
"The first dog is the dog who gives you so much that the first dog is often the reason for the second dog."
Haikus on the Sleeping Habits of Dogs
On the king-size bed
My dog sleeps right up against me
Spurning empty space
In my backpack tent
She stretches, kicks, complains:
She requires more room.
Thoughts on Life and Death:
"What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."
attributed to "Crowfoot"
"If there is a heaven, it is certain our animals are to be there. Their lives become so interwoven with our own, it would take more than an archangel to disentangle them."
Pam Brown, b. 1928
"If there is no heaven for dogs, then I want to go where they go when I die."
"There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
But when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear".
"This death of the body, is it not in the natural order of things in the physical universe? Behold the flowers of the field. They bloom for a brief period and then wither away. The birds of the air, they ascend for their last flight, then descend to fold their wings and find peace in their nest, even the peace of death. So, too, it is with the beasts of the forest. When their time is come, they seek out some quiet, secluded spot, make their last lair, and lay them down there to die; unafraid they, and unashamed. Yea, the very stars in their courses, though they glow for centuries and centuries, lose their radiance at last; they grow cold and crumble away into cosmic ash. What are we to think to escape this common destiny of all earthly things, or resent this final blow of fate called death?"
Frank Carleton Dean