I’ve been collecting animal-related inspirational sayings for years. When I was the executive director of the Dog & Cat Shelter, I included a saying in every thank-you letter I wrote to donors. I hope you enjoy my collecting, but even more than just enjoy, become inspired to a greater appreciation of what a blessing animals – and especially dogs – are to us.
What Dogs Teach Us
The best way to get a puppy is to ask for a baby brother –
and they’ll settle for a puppy every time.
Buy a pup and you will buy love unflinching.
No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversations as a dog does.
You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, “Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that.”
Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust.
They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
A bone to a dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.
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.
Love animals. God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled.
Do not trouble their joy, don’t harass them, don’t deprive them of their happiness, don’t work against God’s intent.
Man, do not pride yourself on superiority to animals; they are without sin,
and you, with your greatness, defile the earth by your appearance on it, and leave the traces of your foulness after you–
alas, it is true of almost every one of us!
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Knowing how to use your voice so it makes sense to your dog, using words in a way your dog can understand,
correcting him without creating fear, praising him properly,
and doing it all at the proper time are critical skills to develop if your dog is to learn from you.
EPITAPH TO A DOG
His friends he loved. His fellest earthly foes–
Cats–I believe he did but feign to hate.
My hand will miss the insinuated nose,
Mine eyes that tail that wagged contempt at Fate.
Sir William Watson
Old dogs, like our shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well.
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.
INSCRIPTION ON THE MONUMENT OF A NEWFOUNDLAND DOG
Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who
possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the Virtues of Man,
without his Vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning
Flattery if inscribed over human
ashes is but a just tribute to the Memory
of Boatswain, a Dog.
Learning the value of silence is learning to listen to, instead of screaming at, reality:
opening your mind enough to find what the end of someone’s sentence sounds like,
or listening to a dog until you discover what is needed instead of imposing yourself in the name of training.
Thomas Dobush, Monk of New Skete
He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men.
We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
He prayeth best who loveth best
All things both great and small;For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
For, perhaps, if the truth were known,
we’re all a little blind, a little deaf, a little handicapped, a little lonely, a little less than perfect.
And if we learn to appreciate and utilize the dog’s full potentials, we will, together, make it in this life on earth.
Chalotte Schwartz, Friend to Friend–Dogs That Help Mankind
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
Cecil Frances Alexander, 1818-1895
Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
Tis sweet to hear the watch-dog’s honest bark
Bay deep-mouth’d welcome as we draw near home;
‘Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark
Our coming, and look brighter when we come.
God made the earth, the sky and the water, the moon and the sun.
He made man and bird and beast.
But He didn’t make the dog: He already had one.
American Indian saying
He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with man. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
The earth trembled and a great rift appeared, separating the first man and woman from the rest of the animal kingdom. As the chasm grew deeper and wider, all the other creatures, afraid for their lives, returned to the forest — except for the dog, who after much consideration leapt the perilous rift to stay with the humans on the other side. His love for humanity was greater than his bond to other creatures, he explained, and he willingly forfeited his place in paradise to prove it.
Native American folktale…an Ojibway tale.
You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.
Robert Louis Stevenson
No man can be condemned for owning a dog. As long as he has a dog, he has a friend; and the poorer he gets, the better friend he has.
There’s facts about dogs, and then there’s opinions about them. The dogs have the facts, and the humans have the opinions. If you want the facts about the dog, always get them straight from the dog. If you want opinions, get them from humans.
J. Allen Boone, Kinship With All Life
I can’t think of anything that brings me closer to tears than when my old dog — completely exhausted after a hard day in the field —
limps away from her nice spot in front of the fire and comes over to where I’m sitting and puts her head in my lap,
a paw over my knee, and closes her eyes and goes back to sleep. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve that kind of friend.
Gene Hill, The Dog Man
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.
Konrad Lorenz, Man Meets Dog
Dogs . . . do not ruin their sleep worrying about how to keep the objects they have, and to obtain the objects they have not.
There is nothing of value they have to bequeath except their love and their faith.
Dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.
Somewhere in the rain, there will always be an abandoned dog, that prevents you from being happy.
Many who have dedicated their life to love can tell us less about this subject than a child who lost his dog yesterday.
Just thinking that my dog loves me more than I love him, I feel shame.
A life without a dog is a mistake.
The love for animals enhances the cultural level of the people.
If a dog does not come to you after looking you in the face, it is better that you go home and examine your conscience.
When you leave a dog behind because he “grew old,” your children will learn the lesson.
Maybe they will do the same to you when you are an old man. Think about it.
Love is when your dog licks your face, even if you leave it alone the whole day.
Anita, 4 years old
It doesn’t matter is an animal can reason. It matters only that is capable of suffering and that is why I consider it my neighbor.
Do not accept the admiration of your dog as an obvious conclusion that you are wonderful.
A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself.
Buying a dog may be the only opportunity that a human being has to choose a relative.
Sitting back in the evening, stargazing and stroking your dog, is an infallible remedy.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
To exercise, walk with someone who will accompany you willingly, preferably a dog.