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Bits of Wisdom on Dogs
January 5, 2012 8:01 AM   Subscribe

Your favorite quotes about dogs, please.

My parents just informed me they'll be putting our cairn terrier of 11 years to sleep this morning. I've done a few searches on Google, but I'd rather see what your favorite quotes or lines about dogs are. I plan on assembling some of the best and passing these along to my parents.

Also, if there are any particularly good books about dogs that you've enjoyed, please pass that along, too.

Previously, Previously.
posted by glaucon to Pets & Animals (34 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
"To find out who your best friend really is, lock your girlfriend and your dog in the trunk of your car, and see which one is glad to see you when you let them out"
posted by thelonius at 8:04 AM on January 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


Merle's Door

One of the best dog books ever.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:09 AM on January 5, 2012


"Outside of a book, a dog is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read"
Groucho Marx
posted by HarrysDad at 8:09 AM on January 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Be the person your dog thinks you are."
posted by sincerely-s at 8:14 AM on January 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


P.S. Sorry about your loss. My parents had to put my dog down after a car accident and it was painful, but hopefully my quote can serve as inspiration because there is something special about the relationship that a person can have with their pets, especially dogs!
posted by sincerely-s at 8:17 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole".
posted by wwax at 8:17 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need arises to bark violently at nothing right in your ear. - Dave Barry
posted by wwax at 8:19 AM on January 5, 2012


"The dog is the only animal that has seen his god."

"My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am."

"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." ~George Gordon, Lord Byron, "Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog"
posted by HuronBob at 8:21 AM on January 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Check out this additional previously.
posted by drlith at 8:24 AM on January 5, 2012


When my beloved rat terrier Jack Jack died, his bat-eared, bow-legged, crookedy-toothed grin and infectious personality was summed up with this quote below. It still brings tears to my eyes.

All in the town were still asleep
When the sun came up with a shout and a leap
In the lonely streets, unseen by man
A little dog danced, and the day began.

Rupert Brooks
posted by HeyAllie at 8:24 AM on January 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


"All knowledge, the totality of all questions and answers, is contained in the dog." Franz Kafka.
posted by argonauta at 8:30 AM on January 5, 2012


Why Old Dogs are the Best Dogs by Gene Weingarten
"The product of a Kansas puppy mill, Harry was sold to us as a yellow Labrador retriever. I suppose it was technically true, but only in the sense that Tic Tacs are technically “food.” Harry’s lineage was suspect. He wasn’t the square-headed, elegant type of Labrador you can envision in the wilds of Canada hunting for ducks. He was the shape of a baked potato, with the color and luster of an interoffice envelope. You could envision him in the wilds of suburban Toledo, hunting for nuggets of dried food in a carpet."
Merle's Door (linked above) was a (mostly) great read, but I never cried so much. Also FYI, some folks have trouble with the end.
So sorry about your dog.
posted by Glinn at 8:32 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can't locate it quickly, but a New Yorker cartoon of two dogs talking, one with baleful expression: "It's always good dog, never great dog."
posted by Elsie at 8:38 AM on January 5, 2012


I've always liked the lyrics of this song by Jim Jackson:
Old Dog Blue - Jim Jackson

I’m goin’ back to where I’m come
I’m goin’ back to where I’m come
I’m goin’ back to Giles County
My wife died and left me a bounty
Way them pretty girls ganged around
That’s the reason why I’m goin’ to Giles County

I had an old dog whose name was Blue
You know that Blue was mighty true
You know Blue was a good old dog
Blue treed a ‘possum in a hollow log
You know from that he’s a good old dog

Blue treed a ‘possum out on a limb
Blue looked at me and I looked at him
Grabbed that ‘possum and put him in a sack
“Do fer me, Blue, ’til I get back.”

“Here, Ring! Yeah, Ring Here!
Here Ring! Hey, Ring here!”
Who’s been here since I been gone
Little bitty girl with the red dress on
Who’s been here since I been gone
Little bitty girl with the red dress on

Old Blue’s feet was big and round
Old Blue’s feets was big and round
Never ‘lowed a ‘possum to tech the ground
Me and Blue went out on a hunt
Blue treed a ‘possum in a hollow stump
You know that Blue was a good old dog
Blue treed a ‘possum in a hollow log
You know from that he’s a good old dog

Old Blue died and I dug his grave
I dug his grave with a silver spade
I let him down with a golden chain
And every link I called his name

Go on Blue you good dog you
Go on Blue you good dog you
Blue laid down and died like a man
Blue laid down and died like a man
Now he’s treein’ ‘possums in the promised land

I’m goin’ to tell you this jes’ to let you know
Old Blue’s gone where the good dogs go
When I hear old Blue bark
When I hear old Blue bark
Blue’s treed a ‘possum in Noah’s ark
Blue’s treed a ‘possum in Noah’s ark
posted by fight or flight at 8:42 AM on January 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Beau, by Jimmy Stewart. (yes, that Jimmy Stewart)
posted by brand-gnu at 8:46 AM on January 5, 2012


Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
- Mark Twain, a Biography

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
- Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar

The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's.
- Letter to W. D. Howells, April 2, 1899
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:48 AM on January 5, 2012


HarrysDad gets the "close, but not quite" award... The actual Groucho quote is "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
posted by brand-gnu at 8:51 AM on January 5, 2012


I'm so sorry for your loss. I used to put this quote in cards we sent to grieving clients (when I was Client Service Manager at a veterinary hospital):
For the animal shall not be measured by man. 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 splendor and travail of the earth.
-- Henry Beston, The Outermost House
posted by Rock Steady at 8:59 AM on January 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


"The reason I love my dog so much is because when I come home, he's the only one in the world who treats me like I'm The Beatles." - Bill Maher
posted by kamikazegopher at 9:06 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I like all dogs better than most people, and most dogs better than all people."

- My Dad's Sig

P.S. We have beloved cairn, whom I like better than most people, so I feel your loss.
posted by The Bellman at 9:10 AM on January 5, 2012


"Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really." -Agnes Sligh Turnbull
posted by Nickel Pickle at 9:21 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


"The more people I meet the more I like my dog."

"To err is human: To forgive, canine."
posted by violetk at 9:28 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry for your loss. I find comfort in humor, so "Dogs are always in the push-up position" (Mitch Hedberg) comes to mind.
posted by Twicketface at 9:30 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


DOG, n. A kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world's worship.

-- Ambrose Bierce, the Devil's Dictionary (1911)
posted by moonmilk at 9:45 AM on January 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


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.

(Epitaph Lord Byron wrote for his Newfoundland)
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:50 AM on January 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sorry for your loss. I, too, have a cairn terrier and I know they are the sweetest things in the world. Here's a little tidbit that's a bit of a tearjerker, but it's quite poignant.

I've also always been fond of:

"Acquiring a dog may be the only opportunity a human ever has to choose a relative." ~ Mordecai Wyatt Johnson
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 11:30 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


My favorite has already been stated: "The more people I meet, the more I like my dog."
posted by tckma at 12:08 PM on January 5, 2012


Samuel Butler - "The great pleasure of a dog is that you make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, he will make a fool of himself too."

I've had the pleasure of knowing dogs - and cats. The hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life is to say good-bye to them.

My heart is with you (he said with tears in his eyes, about to cry).
posted by Man with Lantern at 1:37 PM on January 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Dogs don’t lie and why should I? Strangers come they growl and bark, they know their loved ones in the dark. Now let me, by night or day, be just as full of truth as they."

Garrison Keillor
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 2:02 PM on January 5, 2012


Watch My Dog Tulip which is an adaptation of the novel by J.R. Ackerley (though I have to warn you that I wept inconsolably, and my dog is only 3 years old, and I consider myself to be quite tough).

My favorite quote from the movie:

"What strained and anxious lives dogs must lead, so emotionally involved in the world of humans, whose affections they strive endlessly to secure, whose authority they are expected unquestioningly to obey, and whose mind they can never do more than imperfectly reach and comprehend. Stupidly loved, stupidly hated, acquired without thought, reared and ruled without understanding, passed on or put to sleep without care, did they, I wondered, these descendants of the creatures who, thousands of years ago in the primeval forests, laid siege to the heart of man, took him under their protection, tried to tame him, and failed – did they suffer from headaches?"
posted by dobie at 2:18 PM on January 5, 2012


I see Jimmy Stewart's "Beau" is mentioned above, here he is reading the poem.
posted by HuronBob at 3:33 PM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love my dog. I love all my dogs. Every dog I ever had, I still love ‘em. And in my life, believe me, I have had me a bunch of god-damn dogs. Because you keep on gettin’ a new one, don’t ya? It’s true. As life goes on, you keep gettin’ one new dog after another. That’s the whole secret of life. Life is a series of dogs. –George Carlin
posted by wwax at 4:11 PM on January 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Led Zeppelin made my favorite dog song, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp.

As we walk down the country lanes,
I'll be singing a song,
Hear me calling your name.
Hear the wind within the trees,
Telling Mother Nature 'bout you and me.

posted by cmyk at 8:59 PM on January 5, 2012


If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
-- Will Rogers
posted by bryon at 9:40 PM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


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