We dog-sat this past week for Migo and Zoey. Migo is the smaller one, a bundle of anticipation and excitement, traipsing after you all day and trying to predict your next move. Zoey is calm and collected. She claims her spot on the sofa and stays there. You have to work around her because, well, it’s her sofa. These beloved pets left our home yesterday and went back to their own. We are all missing them. I could go on and on about how wonderful dogs are, but these people have already said it so well….
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”—Will Rogers
“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.”—Agnes Sligh Turnbull
“Perhaps one central reason for loving dogs is that they take us away from this obsession with ourselves. When our thoughts start to go in circles, and we seem unable to break away, wondering what horrible event the future holds for us, the dog opens a window into the delight of the moment.”—Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
“They [dogs] never talk about themselves but listen to you while you talk about yourself, and keep up an appearance of being interested in the conversation.”—Jerome K. Jerome
“I sometimes look into the face of my dog Stan and see a wistful sadness and existential angst, when all he is actually doing is slowly scanning the ceiling for flies.”—Merrill Markoe
“When an eighty-five pound mammal licks your tears away, then tries to sit on your lap, it’s hard to feel sad.”—Kristan Higgins, Catch of the Day
“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”—Marilyn Monroe
“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.”—Doris Day
“The capacity for love that makes dogs such rewarding companions has a flip-side: They find it difficult to cope without us. Since we humans programmed this vulnerability, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our dogs do not suffer as a result.”—John Bradshaw, Dog Sense
by Billy Collins
The way the dog trots out the front door
without a hat or an umbrella,
without any money
or the keys to her dog house
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration.
Who provides a finer example
of a life without encumbrance—
Thoreau in his curtainless hut
with a single plate, a single spoon?
Ghandi with his staff and his holy diapers?
Off she goes into the material world
with nothing but her brown coat
and her modest blue collar,
following only her wet nose,
the twin portals of her steady breathing,
followed only by the plume of her tail.
If only she did not shove the cat aside
and eat all his food
what a model of self-containment she would be,
what a paragon of earthly detachment.
If only she were not so eager
for a rub behind the ears,
so acrobatic in her welcomes,
if only I were not her god.